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Does Suboxone interfere with Novocain?

Peter Manza, PhD profile image
Reviewed By Peter Manza, PhD • Updated Mar 22, 2024 • 3 cited sources

Suboxone shouldn’t interfere with Novocaine. You should always mention any drugs you are taking and health conditions you have to a doctor before getting treated as a precaution. However, Suboxone is used to treat opioid use disorder (OUD) and generally will only interfere with opioid-based treatments. Novocaine isn’t an opioid.

Factors Influencing Suboxone and Novocaine Interaction

As discussed more in the next section, Suboxone and Novocaine shouldn’t interact. Their mechanisms don’t share much overlap, as they affect the body in fundamentally different ways.

Suboxone & Novocaine Interaction: Mechanisms

Suboxone and Novocaine are very different medications. Novocaine isn’t an opioid. Suboxone will not affect the efficacy of Novocaine, and vice versa.


Suboxone is a very common brand name for a drug that combines buprenorphine and naloxone.[1] It is used in Medication for Addiction Treatment (MAT) for the management of OUD. 

The buprenorphine element of the drug helps to suppress opioid cravings, binding to the receptors in the brain that have adapted to cause a person to crave opioids and reducing or eliminating withdrawal symptoms. By occupying these opioid receptors, it can stop other other opioid drugs like heroin or fentanyl from binding to these receptors, blocking the effects of other opioids. The naloxone element of the drug primarily works to prevent a person from misusing it in an attempt to increase the effects of buprenorphine, which is a partial opioid agonist. If injected, the naloxone will activate and quickly counteract the effects of any opioids in the user’s system (including the buprenorphine present in Suboxone).[1]


Novocaine, also known as procaine hydrochloride, is a local anesthetic. It can be injected into a site on the body and cause the surrounding area to be numb. 

It is commonly used by dental professionals to perform various dental procedures that would otherwise cause pain, such as cavity fillings, tooth extractions, and root canals. When used properly, the drug can often render these procedures painless (beyond the potential for the initial Novocaine injection to cause some pain itself). Note that some aching and pain may still occur after the procedure is done—once the drug has had time to wear off.

Novocaine typically works within 10 minutes of injection and lasts for up to an hour. Sometimes, it is combined with epinephrine to extend its effects, with this combination causing numbness for up to 90 minutes.[2]

Potential Risks & Complications

Like any medication, there are some potential risks associated with both Novocaine and Suboxone.


Novocaine should only be used by medical professionals and never for recreational use. When used properly, it is not typically considered to be a significant health risk. Medical professionals can carefully calculate a person’s needed dose and avoid a potentially dangerous overdose. Common side effects are usually mild, with the drug only causing minor discomfort at the site of a person’s injection.

Because it causes numbness, a person should be careful when under the effects of Novocaine, which may last for a short while after a procedure. Be cautious when eating or drinking. Avoid putting anything sharp in your mouth, as you may not be able to feel the pain, which could result in damage to the mouth.[2] 

In rare cases, a person may have a severe allergic reaction to Novocaine, which can cause swelling and impact their ability to breathe. In such cases, this should be considered a medical emergency and warrants immediate medical attention. This care will usually be readily available, as Novocaine is typically only injected in supervised settings by medical professionals.[2] 

Alert your dentist or any other medical professional considering using Novocaine on you about any health conditions you have and any drugs you are taking (both medicinal and recreational). 


There currently isn’t any research suggesting Suboxone or similar medications increase a person’s risk of complications resulting from dental procedures. In theory, the only impact being on Suboxone might have is your ability to be prescribed opioid pain relievers after particularly intensive dental surgery. 

How to Manage Dental Procedures on Suboxone

While you should inform a dentist if you’re taking any prescription medication, including Suboxone, it shouldn’t have any impact on your ability to receive Novocaine during a procedure. Suboxone can counteract the effects of opioids, which are used as painkillers, but Novocaine is not an opioid. 

Suboxone and Novocaine shouldn’t cause any harmful interactions to occur in the majority of patients. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Suboxone & Novocaine

Some questions people may have about receiving Novocaine while on Suboxone include the following:

Can I undergo dental procedures while on Suboxone?

Yes. You should inform your dentist of any medications and health conditions you have regardless, but Suboxone shouldn’t interfere with your ability to undergo most dental procedures. The local anesthetics used during dental work aren’t typically opioids, which is the type of drug Suboxone can reverse the effects of.

Are there alternative anesthetics to consider?

There are some alternatives to Novocaine, including lidocaine and articaine. None of these drugs, including Novocaine, are opioids, and as such none of these anesthetics should be counteracted by the effects of Suboxone.[3]

How can I minimize risks during dental work on Suboxone?

Be honest with your dentist when taking Suboxone or any other form of MAT. Their job is to prioritize your safe and successful treatment. As long as a dentist knows about the drugs you’re on and any health conditions you have, they can alter any procedure where those drugs or conditions might impact safety. 

Consult Your Doctor

Novocaine and Suboxone don’t interact dangerously. You should still tell your doctor if you are on Suboxone, as it is a depressant, and they may wish to modify your treatment in some way to accommodate for that fact. 

Before making any medical decisions related to combining drugs, first consult a medical professional. They are trained to understand how drugs may interact and are obligated to update their knowledge as any new research emerges.

Reviewed By Peter Manza, PhD

Peter Manza, PhD received his BA in Psychology and Biology from the University of Rochester and his PhD in Integrative Neuroscience at Stony Brook University. He is currently working as a research scientist in Washington, DC. His research focuses on the role ... Read More

  1. Suboxone. European Medicines Agency. Published November 2023. Accessed February 12, 2024.
  2. Novocaine: Uses, side effects and risks. Colgate. Accessed February 12, 2024.
  3. Patel BJ, Surana P, Patel KJ. Recent advances in local anesthesia: A review of literature. Cureus. Published March 17, 2023. Accessed February 12, 2024.

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