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Suboxone won’t work for everyone. Some people won’t find that Suboxone offers enough relief from withdrawal symptoms and these people will need to take methadone to get full relief from withdrawal symptoms and drug cravings. To understand why, you need to understand the drug's ceiling affect

The Ceiling Effect

Suboxone has a ceiling effect. Taking greater dosages of Suboxone results in greater effects until a ceiling of effective action is reached - and after that, taking additional Suboxone will not result in greater effects. Some people with very high opiate tolerances require more opiate receptor activation than Suboxone can possible provide – these people are not appropriate candidates for Suboxone.

Many people coming off heavy OxyContin or heroin habits will need a 100 mg or more of methadone a day to experience relief from withdrawal symptoms. People needing this amount of methadone will not find that Suboxone is able to provide sufficient relief from withdrawal symptoms.

  • A meta analysis of research studies has shown that Suboxone is more effective than 25 – 35 mgs of methadone a day, but less effective than 50 – 80 mgs of methadone per day.
  • At a dosage of between 8 and 16 mg per day, Suboxone is about as effective as a 60 mg daily dose of methadone.1

Although because of its easier withdrawal and take home doses you may prefer the thought of Suboxone over methadone, what is most important is that you get a medication that works well for you, and that offers you full relief from withdrawal pains and drug cravings. Talk to your doctor about your options, and choose the medication that’s going to work best for you.

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Page last updated Jul 07, 2011

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