How Long Does Suboxone Stay in Your System?

Last Updated: February 7, 2024

Editorial Policy | Research Policy

How long Suboxone lasts in your system depends on several factors, including age, weight, history of drug abuse and an individual’s metabolism.

Suboxone is a prescription medication used to treat opioid use disorder (OUD). It plays an important role in the opioid epidemic the U.S. faces today. As of 2018, an estimated 2.1 million people aged 12 and older were diagnosed with OUD, which continues to rise. 

Although Suboxone is a good option to treat opioid use disorder, it is important to keep in mind that it is a Schedule III controlled substance, meaning this drug has a risk for abuse and dependence that can lead to addiction. The effects may only last 24 hours, but Suboxone can stay in your system much longer.

What Is Suboxone?

Suboxone is a combination of two medications, buprenorphine and naloxone, and both are effective treatments for OUD. It helps reduce cravings and ease or prevent opioid withdrawal symptoms, which can be uncomfortable and dangerous. These painful withdrawal symptoms are one of the primary reasons opioid users continue to abuse the drugs and relapse. It is typically given 12–24 hours after the last opioid use when the body is in withdrawal. 

How Does Suboxone Work?

The two active ingredients of Suboxone work differently. Buprenorphine partially binds to opioid receptors in the brain, which means it can still produce some of the euphoric effects that opioids do; however, these feelings are weaker. This is why Suboxone use can lead to addiction. Naloxone, the other component of Suboxone, is an opioid antagonist. It works by attaching to opioid receptors, thereby blocking and reversing the effects of other opioids. 

How Long Does It Take for Suboxone to Kick In?

Suboxone is administered sublingually or under the tongue, so its effects are quickly felt. The medication starts to kick in within approximately 20–60 minutes, and the effects peak around one hour and 40 minutes after the initial dose. 

How Long Does Suboxone Last?

Suboxone’s effects can last up to 24 hours; however, in some people, the effects can last up to 60 hours. The time it lasts depends on several factors, including age, weight, history of drug abuse and an individual’s metabolism. 

Suboxone Side Effects

Common side effects associated with Suboxone include

  • Constipation
  • Headache
  • Abdominal pain
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Irritation or numbness of the mouth
  • Tongue pain

Serious side effects of Suboxone include

  • Hives, rash and itching
  • Swelling of the face, mouth, hands, feet and lower legs
  • Difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Confusion
  • Blurred vision
  • Slurred speech
  • Unusual bruising
  • Yellowing of the skin/eyes
  • Dark urine
  • Light-colored stools

How Long Does Suboxone Last in Your System?

Anyone using Suboxone to recover from opioid use disorder may wonder how long Suboxone can be detected in your system. Because it is an opioid, some may worry it will show up on a drug test, for example, for a new job. The good news is Suboxone is not usually included on a standard drug screening panel; however, specific tests for Suboxone ensure a patient adheres to therapy and does not abuse it. 

How Long Does Suboxone Stay In Your Urine?

Suboxone can be detected in urine for up to 7–10 days at regular doses. If someone has taken the drug for a long time, the detection window may increase to approximately 14 days. .

How Long Does Suboxone Stay In Your Blood?

Suboxone may be detectable for up to eight days in blood, based on the half-life.

A drug’s half-life is the time it takes for the body to eliminate half of a drug. The half-life for buprenorphine is 24–42 hours, and 2–12 hours for naloxone. 

How Long Does Suboxone Stay In Your Saliva?

Saliva tests are sometimes preferred because they are inexpensive and can detect a drug earlier than other methods. Suboxone can be detected in the saliva for up to five days

How Long Does Suboxone Stay In Your Hair?

Hair tests for drug detection are uncommon because they are expensive, and the results can vary depending on hair length and quantity sampled. However, hair tests have a longer detection window than urine, blood and saliva. Suboxone may be detected from a hair sample for up to 90 days.

Factors Influencing How Long Suboxone Stays in Your System

Factors affecting how long Suboxone stays in your system include:

  • Dosage and frequency of use
  • Age
  • Weight
  • History of drug abuse
  • Metabolism
  • Liver disease

Individuals with liver disease will metabolize Suboxone slower, which can increase the time it stays in the body. Those with moderate to severe liver disease can increase Suboxone’s half-life by 35% to over 100%. This slows the drug’s metabolism. 

False Positive for Suboxone

Although uncommon, a false positive for Suboxone may occur. This may be due to human error, like mislabeling, using other medications or instrumental carry-over. It is important to note that taking Suboxone should not cause a positive result on a standard drug test, as these tests are limited to certain opioids, including methadone, oxycodone and heroin. 

How To Get Suboxone Out of Your System

It is critical to understand that Suboxone can lead to overdose, which is more likely if an individual simultaneously uses other drugs, such as benzodiazepines (XanaxKlonopinAtivan), alcohol, antidepressants and other opioids. Because it is an opioid, stopping the medication can lead to withdrawal symptoms, including flu-like symptoms, insomnia, mood swings and depression. 

Medical detoxification, which is the gradual removal of a drug from the body under the supervision of a licensed medical professional, may help alleviate those symptoms. It may include the administration of medicines to help ease withdrawal symptoms. 

Substance Addiction Treatment in South Jersey

The Recovery Village Cherry Hill at Cooper is a full-service rehabilitation center with an addiction treatment team that includes a range of licensed healthcare professionals, each with credentials that meet the full spectrum of a client’s needs. Our facility offers several treatment programs, including medical detox, inpatient rehabpartial hospitalizationintensive outpatient, traditional outpatient rehab and aftercare.

Programs generally involve individual and group therapy, medication management, case management, recreational therapy and treatment for any co-occurring mental health disorders. Our clients also have access to numerous amenities, like a fully-equipped gym, a game room, basketball and volleyball courts and a yoga room. 


If you or someone you know needs to detox from Suboxone or is dealing with an addiction, contact us today to learn more about how our treatment options can help you begin a healthier, substance-free life. 

Sources

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Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. “Medication-Assisted Treatment: Opioid Overdose.” April 21, 2022. Accessed August 4, 2022.

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U.S. National Library of Medicine. “Buprenorphine Sublingual and Buccal (opioid dependence).” MedlinePlus, January 15, 2022. Accessed August 4, 2022.

Drugs.com. “How Long Does it Take for Suboxone to Start Working?” April 16, 2021. Accessed August 4, 2022.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. “Medication-Assisted Treatment: Buprenorphine.” July 14, 2022. Accessed August 4, 2022.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. “Medication-Assisted Treatment: Naloxone.” April 21, 2022. Accessed August 4, 2022.

US Drug Test Centers. “Suboxone-Buprenorphine Drug Testing.” Accessed August 4, 2022.

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Drugs.com. “How Long Does Suboxone Stay in Your System?” March 21, 2022. Accessed August 4, 2022.

Cone, Edward J; Huestes, Marilyn A. “Interpretation of Oral Fluid Tests for Drugs of Abuse.” Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, March 2007. Accessed August 4, 2022.

Gryczynski, Jan; et al. “Hair Drug Testing Results and Self-Repor[…]isk Illicit Drug Use.” Drug and Alcohol Dependence, August 2014. Accessed August 4, 2022.

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