What is the difference between Subutex and Suboxone? It is a common question asked by persons wanting to get help quitting opiate abuse.
Subutex and Suboxone are drugs that were approved by the FDA for opioid addiction. Subutex and Suboxone are available by a prescription and when used by individuals struggling with opiate addiction – such as to prescription painkillers and heroin – both are very effective at preventing drug cravings and withdrawal symptoms.
What is Buprenorphine?
Opiate abuse changes brain structure. In persons who are not dependent on opiates, the opioid receptors in the brain are activated by endogenous neural endorphin chemicals. However, in persons who abuse prescription opiates (such as OxyContin and Vicodin) or Heroin, the opioid receptors are saturated in the brain to create euphoria.
Over time opiate users will develop a tolerance to the drugs which means that they will need to increase the amount they take to achieve the same euphoria. When the person does not get enough of the opiate drug to saturate the opioid receptors, the individual begins to experience opiate withdrawal.
Buprenorphine, the active ingredient in Subutex and Suboxone will activate opioid receptors in the brain and prevent opiate withdrawal. Buprenorphine is a partial agonist meaning that it has a limit to how much it can activate the opioid receptors. It can prevent withdrawal but not create the euphoria experienced from OxyContin or Heroin.
What is Naloxone?
The primary difference between Subutex and Suboxone is Naloxone which is in Suboxone but not in Subutex. Naloxone is an opiate antagonist and prevents the drug from being abused – meaning that if the Suboxone is crushed and injected the individual will go into full and immediate withdrawal.
Naloxone works by filling and blocking the opioid receptors and preventing other drugs from activating the receptors. The difference is that while Buprenorphine partially activates the receptors; Naloxone will not active them.
When Suboxone is taken as directed, the Naloxone is not noticeable and the Buprenorphine offers relief from withdrawal. However, when Suboxone is abused – for example by injecting it – the Naloxone is fully activated and the individual will go into immediate withdrawal that cannot be reversed by taking other opiate drugs.
If you are struggling with opiate addiction and want to find a better way to detox from opiates, Gallus Detox Center is here to help. To learn more about our facility and method for detox, or to ask questions about Subutex and Suboxone, call us today at 855-338-6929.