Transitioning from Methadone to Buprenorphine/Naloxone (Suboxone)

We offer telemedicine Suboxone treatment to overcome opioid dependence & addiction:

Confidential phone & video calls with your medical provider
Experienced clinicians who truly care
Online support groups
Suboxone home delivered

Why transition from methadone to buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone)?

Patients may desire to transition from methadone to buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone) for various reasons, some of which include the following:

  • Difficulty presenting to an opioid treatment program (OTP) daily
  • Living a long distance from an OTP
  • Desire or need to travel for work or vacation
  • Perceived stigma from taking methadone
  • Desire to take daily medication from home
  • No longer requiring the structure of an OTP
  • Body not tolerating methadone well

We recommend patients work with their healthcare providers to develop an ideal treatment plan.


Online Suboxone treatment at Bicycle Health provides:

Our online clinic

  • Confidential phone & video calls with your medical provider via our mobile app
  • Online support groups from the privacy of your own home
  • Experienced, addiction-medicine trained online Suboxone doctors who truly care
  • Suboxone home delivered 

In person

  • Patients often wait days-to-weeks for an in-person clinic visit
  • Lots of time lost in transportation to and from the clinic visit
  • Unpredictable wait times during in-person visits
  • High and often unpredictable costs

What’s the transition from methadone to buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone) like?

Transitioning from methadone to buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone) can be physically uncomfortable for many patients, as well as increase risk for relapse. It is important that you work closely with your healthcare provider to develop an appropriate transition plan.

If you currently get methadone from an OTP, your Bicycle Health provider will coordinate with your methadone clinic staff to slowly taper your methadone dose. To minimize the risk of precipitated withdrawal, it’s recommended that methadone be tapered to 20-30mg daily before beginning treatment with buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone).

The rate of methadone reduction should be no more than 5mg per week, or 5-10% weekly. The lower methadone dose you’re on at the time methadone is stopped, the less discomfort you’ll experience throughout the transition process.

After your methadone has been tapered to 20-30mg daily, which you’ll stay on for approximately 1-2 weeks, you’ll need to be abstinent from methadone (and all opioids) for 36-72 hours, or until you’re experiencing moderate withdrawal symptoms. Once in moderate withdrawal, you can take your first dose of buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone). Your provider will uptitrate your buprenorphine dose as needed to relieve withdrawal symptoms (up to 32mg on day #1).

Transitioning from methadone to buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone) takes time, and the taper may differ from patient to patient. It’s vital that you work with your medical provider to determine what’s best for you.

Lastly, if the transition to buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone) is unsuccessful, then patients can return to methadone treatment immediately.

To speak with a member of our team about transitioning from methadone to buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone), schedule a call here.

The convenience of getting help around my needs and schedule. I believe that if more people that need help knew about Bicycle Health, it would dramatically change the opioid abuse statistics.

Asst Store Manager, Alabama
December 2020

Symptomatic Management of Opioid Withdrawal

Withdrawal symptoms are uncomfortable, but there are withdrawal treatments your Bicycle Health provider can prescribe to help relieve these symptoms:

  • Clonidine helps reduce anxiety, irritability, muscle aches, sweating, and runny nose;

  • Hydroxyzine (Atarax) helps relieve anxiety and insomnia;

  • Tizanidine (Zanaflex) helps reduce muscle spasms;

  • Ondansetron (Zofran) relieves symptoms of nausea and vomiting;

  • Loperamide (Imodium) helps relieve diarrhea; and

  • Bentyl helps relieve gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms, especially abdominal cramping.

And lastly, once you start induction with buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone), you’ll begin to experience relief from opioid withdrawal symptoms.

We recommend arranging for childcare and time off work throughout the methadone-to-buprenorphine transition period, as many patients may experience discomfort for up to 1-2 weeks.

I appreciate the ability to connect with my patients when they need me the most. Online treatment allows my patients the opportunity to place their recovery first and keep on track!

Kathryn Rutland, MD
Bicycle Health Provider

How does Bicycle Health work?

Talk with an enrollment coordinator

Meet confidentially with an experienced enrollment coordinator who will learn more about you, your experience with opioid dependence, and your health goals.

Read more

Doctor visits via phone & video call

During your first online medical provider visit, your provider will learn more about you and collaboratively develop a personalized Suboxone treatment plan for your opioid use disorder.

Read more

Prescription refills

Your Suboxone treatment prescription will be refilled during weekly, biweekly, or monthly telehealth visits with your Bicycle Health provider.

Read more

Your Journey to Recovery with Bicycle Health

Here at Bicycle Health, we combine buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone) treatment with behavioral health supports, like online support groups and health coaches.

Learn more about how our process works here.

I’ve tried many other programs and rehabs but none of them have ever come close to the innovative, effective, design of this program and its administrators. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND BICYCLE HEALTH!!! I would suggest that anyone who’s struggling with opioid dependence, contact them for help today!

Mary Z.
‍‍
Bicycle Health Patient

We are physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants who are invested in your recovery.

Bicycle Health providers, staff, and leadership believe everyone deserves access to confidential, individualized, and non-judgmental care for transition from methadone to buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone).

Schedule a call with an enrollment coordinator to learn how buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone) treatment can improve quality of life.

This page medically reviewed by Rebekah L. Rollston, MD, MPH

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.

We’ve helped thousands of patients take their lives back from addiction.

See more stories ⇢

One of the things I love about Bicycle Health is the ability to use telemedicine 
to communicate with my doctor. Appointments can take place anywhere 
I am: at work, when I’m out of town, even in my bed at home! I am so grateful for the compassionate care I’ve received from Bicycle Health.

Mia S.

2019

I was introduced to Medication Assisted Treatment and it changed my life. Bicycle health was very helpful, supportive and assisted me without judgement. Now I feel I have a reason to live, have hopes for the future and finally feel relatively happy. I have not known happiness as long as I can remember.

Ryan K.

2019

I’ve tried many other programs and rehabs but none of them have ever come close to the innovative, effective, design of this program and its administrators. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND BICYCLE HEALTH!!! I would suggest that anyone who’s struggling with opioid dependence, contact them for help today!

Mary Z.

2019

My experience with my Bicycle Health Provider and my health coach has been amazing. They are an experienced  company that truly cares about my well being emotionally and physically. They are the best treatment program company that I have experienced and I highly recommend using them!

Anonymous Patient

2020

They care so much. They take the time to meet with you throughout the week to see how your treatment is affecting you personally. They care to find what works best for your body and your recovery. I have taken my life back. I have control over my finances again, I can get in touch with my emotions again and I am no longer hating myself at the end of the day. I’m happier and healthier all around.

Anonymous Patient

2020

I got quick immediate help when I needed it, and everyone I have spoken to has been very helpful and informative during my time of reaching out for help to get and stay clean. I extremely appreciate how helpful the staff and doctor have been. I’m so excited to be a part of Bicycle Health and I couldn’t be more thankful for the help I’ve been receiving. I’ve been able to function throughout the day and just live a better, happier, sober life.

Anonymous Patient

2020

I have not ever had a staff as caring and efficient as Bicycle Health. I have always had every question answered and really feel like my sobriety had been due to the way they care about their patients.

My life has improved 100% on this medication. I can deal with the ups and downs, am rarely depressed, don't have a lot of anxiety and have my energy back. I feel like a normal person again.

Anonymous Patient

2020

These quotes are provided by Bicycle Health patients with consent to be shared publicly, and the name has been changed to respect treatment confidentiality.

Get started with Bicycle Health

No need to go to a doctor’s office or clinic.
Even lab testing can be done from home.