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How long do I have to be in withdrawal before starting Suboxone?

The opioid withdrawal timeline varies based on your level of tolerance and typical substance and dose. In general, patients should wait the following number of hours before buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone) induction:

  • 12-24 hours for short-acting opioids (heroin, hydrocodone, oxycodone-immediate release);
  • 36 hours for intermediate-acting opioids (oxycodone-sustained release); and
  • 48-72 hours for long-acting opioids (methadone).
Rebekah L. Rollston, MD, MPH

Dr. Rollston is a Family Medicine Physician at Cambridge Health Alliance, Affiliate Editor-in-Chief of the Harvard Primary Care Blog, and Founder of Doctors For A Healthy US, LLC. She earned her Medical Degree from East Tennessee State University Quillen College of Medicine and her Master of Public Health from The George Washington University. Her professional interests focus on social influencers of health & health disparities, addiction medicine, sexual & reproductive health, homelessness & supportive housing, and rural health.

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