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What happens when you mix methadone and Suboxone?

Methadone and Suboxone should not be mixed. 

Methadone is a full opioid agonist, meaning it “strongly” turns on opioid receptors in the brain. On the other hand, Suboxone is what we call a “partial opioid agonist” which means it “partially” turns on opioid receptors in the brain. 

Suboxone binds more strongly to receptors in the brain, and thus mixing these two can precipitate withdrawal symptoms when Suboxone “kicks out” the methadone off of the brain receptors.  

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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