Does Suboxone Show Up on a Drug Test?

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Yes and no. Suboxone will not show up on a routine drug panel, which is usually the panel ordered by employers for pre-employment screening. However, there is a blood test for Suboxone that can be ordered in addition to a routine drug panel, which means the presence or absence of Suboxone can be detected in the blood.

For Suboxone to show up on a urine drug test, someone would have to order an extended drug screening that tests for either buprenorphine, its metabolites, or naloxone.[1] Most employers do not order this extended drug screen.

However, if you are on Suboxone, the policies of each prescriber and clinic may differ. Some prescribers or clinics may require routine drug screening, which might include buprenorphine, while you are receiving a prescription. Other clinics and prescribers may not.  

Does Suboxone Show Up on Pre-Employment Drug Tests?

A five-panel drug test is the most common type used for pre-employment or ongoing employment drug tests. Suboxone does not usually show up on this test.

A five-panel drug test detects opioids, cocaine, amphetamines, PCP, and marijuana (THC).[2]

Does the Intake Method Matter?

Regardless of whether you take Suboxone film strips or tablets, it will not show up on a standard drug test. The method of intake does not matter.

However, if a specific buprenorphine test is ordered, it will likely show up regardless of the method in which it was ingested, as the metabolites will still be in the bloodstream.

Should You Let Your Employer Know You’re Taking Suboxone Before a Test?

It’s generally a good idea to let an employer or prospective employer know about Suboxone before a drug test. Since employers don’t often disclose the drugs they are looking for on tests, it’s possible that they could use an expanded drug test that looks for buprenorphine or its metabolites.

Employers are not allowed to discriminate against patients who are on Suboxone therapy that is prescribed by a licensed provider. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) explicitly protects people with substance use disorders who are not actively misusing substances from workplace discrimination.[3]

If you are concerned about your employer checking for Suboxone and using the test results against you negatively, you can get an official letter from your Suboxone provider, verifying that you have a prescription for Suboxone.

Bicycle Health providers can give you an official letter explaining this. This helps to reinforce the legal protections you have against employment discrimination.[4]

Suboxone Drug Test FAQs

Will Suboxone show up on a 10-panel drug test?

No, Suboxone will not show up on a 10-panel drug test. This drug test detects opioids, cocaine, amphetamines, PCP, marijuana (THC), benzodiazepines, barbiturates, methadone, propoxyphene, and methaqualone (Quaaludes). Suboxone does not show up as methadone or other opioids.

Will Suboxone show up on a 12-panel drug test?

No, Suboxone will not show up on a 12-panel drug test. While this test is designed to test for opioids in more depth, Suboxone will not show up as any other opioid.

A 12-panel drug test detects oxycodone, other opioids, cocaine, amphetamines, PCP, marijuana (THC), benzodiazepines, barbiturates, methadone, propoxyphene, methaqualone (Quaaludes), and ecstasy (MDMA).

Do employers test for Suboxone?

Federal employers do not test for Suboxone or buprenorphine. Private employers can test for anything they want. If you are taking Suboxone, you can provide your employer with proof of your valid prescription.


  1. Does Suboxone Show Up on a Drug Test? March 2022. Accessed April 2022.
  2. The 5 Panel Drug Test. Quest Diagnostics. March 2022. Accessed April 2022. 
  3. The ADA, Addiction, Recovery, and Employment. ADA National Network. 2020. Accessed April 2022.
  4. Fact Sheet: Disability Discrimination. U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Accessed April 2022.

Medically Reviewed By Elena Hill, MD, MPH

Elena Hill, MD; MPH received her MD and Masters of Public Health degrees at Tufts Medical School and completed her family medicine residency at Boston Medical Center. She is currently an attending physician at Bronxcare Health Systems in the Bronx, NY where she works as a primary care physician as well as part time in pain management and integrated health. Her clinical interests include underserved health care, chronic pain and integrated/alternative health.

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