Back to Suboxone FAQs

What is the transition from Subutex (Bup-Mono) to Suboxone (Bup/Nal) like?

You should feel no difference when transitioning from buprenorphine-monotherapy (Subutex) to buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone). 

Buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone) is a combination of the active ingredient “buprenorphine” which helps prevent opioid withdrawal, craving, and overdose AND the inactive ingredient “naloxone,” which is not absorbed by the body and is added to the formulation to ensure that Buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone) is not misused. For example, if Buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone) were injected (not taken as it is supposed to), the naloxone would become active (absorbed by the body) and could cause opioid withdrawal symptoms.

If you are taking the medication as prescribed, buprenorphine-monotherapy (Subutex) to buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone) work the exact same way since the same active ingredient (buprenorphine) is being absorbed by the body.

So, if your medical provider transitions you from Subutex (just buprenorphine) to Suboxone (buprenorphine + non-absorbed naltrexone), your provider will simply replace one medication with another. As long as you are taking it as prescribed, your body should feel the same.

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.

Bicycle Health Online Suboxone Doctors

Safe, confidential, & affordable treatment for opioid use disorder.