How Long Does Suboxone Stay in Your System

How long does Suboxone stay in your system? Learn about the half-life of the substance, as well as relevant side effects and treatment options.

What Is Suboxone?

How Long Does Suboxone Stay in Your System
Suboxone, made from Buprenorphine-naloxone, is a drug used to treat opioid abuse. It was first synthesized in 1985 and was rebranded and released in its modern form in 2002. Other Suboxone names include Buprenex, Subutex, and Buprenorphine. The Suboxone half-life is almost two days. 1

Questions about addiction?

Call Us Now: 1-866-232-9103

Your call is confidential with no obligation required to speak with us.

How Does Suboxone Work?

Like other opiate addiction medicines, Suboxone works by blocking receptors in the brain responsible for binding with opioids, producing cravings, and creating withdrawal symptoms. Typically, normal suboxone doses are 4mg/1mg. (It’s a double measurement because Suboxone is made from two separate drugs.)

What Does Suboxone Treat?

Suboxone is primarily used to treat opiate addiction and, in rare cases, as pain relief. Although, its use as an off-label pain relief medication is almost, if not entirely, phased out. The average length of time on suboxone is three to four days. 1

Is Suboxone Addictive?

Suboxone is addictive. It’s not as addictive as the opioids it’s used to treat but can still cause signs of dependency. That’s why Suboxone is a controlled substance that’s only accessible via medical prescription.

What are Suboxone Side Effects?

Suboxone can result in various consequences (both affecting the mind and body). Here are the side effects of Suboxone:
Suboxone duration and effects vary in intensity from person to person.

How Long Does Suboxone Stay in Your System?

There’s no exact answer if you’re wondering how long Suboxone stays in your system. Primarily because the length of time it takes for your body to filter out the drug depends on age, size, gender, genetics, etc. But here are the average time frames for Suboxone.

In Urine

Urine, the most common form of drug testing, can detect Suboxone for up to 11 days from last use. Suboxone in urine is detected due to metabolites. Suboxone in urine is the second most persistent trace of the drug. 2

In Saliva

Salvia Suboxone test, a bit less common than a urine test, can detect Suboxone for up to 36 hours from last use.

In Blood

Blood Suboxone tests are especially tricky as it takes a trained professional to get a sample. Additionally, blood samples risk potentially infecting those that handle them. That said, Suboxone only stays in the blood for a few hours.3

In Hair

Hair tests can detect drugs for far longer than other tests. Almost any drug is detectable in hair for up to three months from last use. That said, depending on hair length and use of the drug, certain substances can be detected for up to six months from the previous use. 4
The Suboxone half-life is roughly two days, and the Suboxone test can detect the substance longer than that if the individual has prior use.

Factors That Influence How Long Suboxone Stays in Your System

Here’s the breakdown of how and why your health plays a factor in how long you have suboxone in your system.

Age, Weight, and Metabolism Speed

The older you are, the slower your metabolism becomes. This means that drugs stay in your system longer and cause additional strain to filter out the body. A heavier person will typically require more of a substance to feel the addictive effects and take longer to filter out of their system. This can increase the active suboxone duration.1

Frequency of Suboxone Use and Dosage

The body builds a tolerance to almost every substance, making it progressively harder to receive the effects of a drug. A person who routinely uses an addictive drug also risks building dependency on the drug. This risk is increased with higher dosages, as is the risk for negative side effects.

Liver Health

The liver plays a significant role in filtering any substance out of the body. Any substance in excess can cause severe strain on the liver, which can ultimately cause liver failure. Considering the Suboxone half-life is lengthy, the liver must work overtime to remove it from the body.

Combining Suboxone with Other Substances

Suboxone can be taken with other prescription drugs when managed responsibly as per medical instruction. When abused, Having Suboxone in your system with other drugs can intensify negative effects and increase the chance of overdose.

Suboxone Withdrawal Symptoms

Symptoms of suboxone withdrawal affect the body and mind. Here are the most common.


Suboxone addiction messes with your brain chemistry which can cause an overproduction of anxiety-related hormones. Anxiety, and other mental health issues, make overcoming and diagnosing suboxone addiction that much harder.

Difficulty Concentrating

Difficulty concentrating can be caused by a lack of sleep, poor diet, heightened mental illness, etc., all in connection with drug use.


Like anxiety, depression is caused by suboxone addiction due to the long-term effects on brain chemistry.

Digestive Issues (Nausea, Vomiting)

Suboxone addiction and poor diet, commonly associated with drug use, cause stomach issues. The result is an inability to keep food down, cramps, and other forms of abdominal pain.


Headaches are brought about by practically any of the symptoms mentioned above. Additionally, headaches can worsen any mental state, suppress appetite, and amplify several side effects.

Insomnia, Sleep Disturbances

Proper sleep is crucial to overall mental and physical wellbeing. Excess Suboxone in your system can disrupt sleep cycles, restless leg syndrome and other sleep problems.1

Signs of withdrawal from suboxone occur in anyone who’s built a dependency on the drug.

Will Suboxone Show Up on a Drug Test?

Having Suboxone in your system will show up on a drug test if administered within the tests’ respective time frames. That includes urine, saliva, blood, and hair tests. Because Suboxone is a prescription-only drug, even a trace amount can denote abuse. Keep in mind the suboxone half-life is approximately 48 hours.
suboxone test  

Suboxone Addiction Treatment

Addiction doesn’t have to be the end of the line. With the right help, millions of people have overcome their substance dependency. Here’s how.


Detox is the first step to overcoming addiction and is best done in a medical facility. Detox helps reduce withdrawal symptoms and helps the body recover from long-term drug use.

Residential Care

Residential care allows for round-the-clock medical assistance in a safe environment. Long-term residential care is available for those that need it. There are also options for people to continue living their day-to-day lives while periodically visiting a rehab center for tests and monitoring. Both forms of residential care are effective for a patient to start breaking through suboxone addiction.

Help at Stillwater Treatment Center

Do you need more information? Reach out to us over the phone, via email, or by clicking the contact button at the top of the page. We understand that recovery is a team process, and finding the right team for you takes time. Reach out to us to learn more and get the help you or a loved one needs.