Opioid addiction is a growing concern in the United States and around the world. It is a chronic condition that requires long-term treatment and management. Two of the most commonly prescribed medications for opioid addiction are Subutex and Suboxone. Although they are similar in many ways, there are also some significant differences between the two drugs. In this article, we will explore the differences between Subutex and Suboxone for opioid addiction treatment.
What is Subutex?
Subutex is the brand name for the drug buprenorphine. Buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist, which means it can activate opioid receptors in the brain to a lesser extent than full agonists like heroin and morphine. This makes it useful in the treatment of opioid addiction because it can help reduce withdrawal symptoms and cravings without producing the intense euphoria associated with other opioids.
Subutex is typically used in the induction phase of opioid addiction treatment. During this phase, the patient is transitioning from their opioid use to medication-assisted treatment (MAT). Subutex is usually started when the patient is experiencing mild to moderate withdrawal symptoms. The medication is taken as a tablet that is placed under the tongue and allowed to dissolve.
What is Suboxone?
Suboxone is a combination medication that contains both buprenorphine and naloxone. Naloxone is an opioid antagonist, which means it can block the effects of opioids on the brain. When taken as directed, naloxone has no effect, but if Suboxone is injected or abused in other ways, the naloxone can cause withdrawal symptoms.
Suboxone is also used in the induction phase of opioid addiction treatment, but it is typically reserved for patients with more severe addiction or who have a history of relapse. Suboxone is taken in the same way as Subutex, as a tablet that is placed under the tongue and allowed to dissolve.
Differences between Subutex and Suboxone:
The primary difference between Subutex and Suboxone is the addition of naloxone in Suboxone. Because Subutex contains only buprenorphine, it is more likely to be abused than Suboxone. Naloxone is included in Suboxone to deter abuse, as injecting or snorting the medication will cause immediate withdrawal symptoms.
Another difference between the two medications is their availability. Subutex is only available as a generic medication, while Suboxone is available in both generic and brand-name versions.
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