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How long does Suboxone stay in your system?

Buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone) stays in your system for 28-42 hours after sublingual (under the tongue) administration via films or tablets, which are the most common route for buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone) treatment. Interestingly, when it was initially used, buprenorphine/naloxone was often given every 2 days because of its long duration of action.

For the treatment of opioid use disorder, buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone) is now usually prescribed as a daily medication. Some patients choose to divide their daily dose so they can take it two or three times a day. However, taking it once a day should cover almost all the opioid receptors in the brain at once, preventing withdrawal symptoms, cravings, and overdose from other opioids at least for the next 24 hours. So, waking up and taking buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone) first thing in the morning is a good strategy to maximize recovery success over the next 1-2 days.

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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