Text Size

Suboxone is an effective drug used in the treatment of opiate addiction. It works similarly to methadone, but unlike with methadone treatment, you do not have to travel to a methadone clinic each day to take your medication, you can instead be prescribed a month’s dosage as take-home.

Because of this, and because of some other significant advantages, many prospective patients prefer the thought of Suboxone over methadone, but not everyone who wants buprenorphine can or should take it.

Before your doctor agrees to prescribe you Suboxone, she will want to run through a checklist of possible contraindications, to make sure that you will be able to use Suboxone safely and effectively.

Suboxone May Not Appropriate for People Who:1

  • Are dependent on or abusing benzodiazepines or alcohol
  • Are homicidal or suicidal
  • Have a serious untreated concurrent mental illness
  • Have tried maintenance treatment without success on multiple occasions
  • Have tried treatment with Suboxone before, with poor success
  • Have serious medical complications or medical complications that are beyond the knowledge base of the prescribing doctor
  • Are not likely to follow a prescribed treatment plan
  • Are not likely able to use or store Suboxone safely
  • Do not understand how Suboxone treatment works
  • Are pregnant
  • Are taking medications that will interact with Suboxone
  • Have a very poor recovery environment

If none of the above contraindications describe your situation, then you may be an appropriate candidate for office based take home treatment with Suboxone. Some people however, even those who would otherwise be appropriate candidates, cannot use Suboxone as it is not strong enough for their needs. Suboxone has a ceiling effect. After a certain daily dosage, taking additional suboxone results in no additional effects. Some people with heavy opiate habits, such as those who were using high doses of heroin daily, will not find that Suboxone is able to provide sufficient relief from withdrawal symptoms. These people will need to use methadone instead.

Subscribe Subscribe to this topic category

Page last updated Nov 20, 2015

Creative Commons License
Copyright Notice
We welcome republishing of our content on condition that you credit Choose Help and the respective authors. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
Suboxone: How Long Does Treatment Take?
How Long to Stay on Suboxone – Advice from a Suboxone Doc © Zamboni.Andrea
Four pieces of advice on how long you’ll need to use Suboxone from one of America’s leading experts on the use of the drug. Read Article
Suboxone & Methadone February 20, 2012 (206)
Comparing Zubsolv with Suboxone
Zubsolv vs. Suboxone: Similarities and Differences © Or Hiltch
Zubsolv is a new drug for opiate dependence. Like Suboxone, it’s composed of a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone. Read on to learn about how it works and how it differs from Suboxone. Read Article
Drug Rehab December 17, 2013 (158)
OTC Meds for Suboxone Withdrawal Symptoms
OTC and Prescription Medications Used to Alleviate Suboxone Withdrawal Symptoms © Danielle Zeda
A list of SAMHSA recommended medications for managing the withdrawal symptoms that occur during Suboxone tapering. Read Article

This website is certified by Health On the Net Foundation. This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information.

Find Treatment
Browse by region »
Scan to call us
using your phone camera app