Did you know that Suboxone prescription use is associated with a 90 percent lower mortality rate compared to other treatments?
Suboxone prescriptions have been soaring as the opioid epidemic continues to sweep the United States.
When considering the available treatments to aid in your recovery, it’s important to consider the half-life of Suboxone.
Taking Suboxone can be an important first step in your overall recovery, but you need to understand how long does Suboxone stay in your system.
If you’re wondering what is the half-life of Suboxone, look no further. In this article, we will walk you through everything you need to know about Suboxone treatment. We’ll explain the basic pharmacology of this helpful medication.
What Is a Half-Life?
Before diving into the specifics of Suboxone treatment, it’s important to understand what a half-life is in the first place.
You may remember this term from your science classes growing up.
In short, the half-life of a medication is the time that is necessary for a certain amount to be reduced to half of its initial value. This can be helpful in a variety of scientific settings. For example, many nuclear physicists and researchers use the half-life to explain rates of radioactive decay.
This can be useful for things like scientific dating. However, doctors also use the half-life of medication to understand how long patients can expect treatment benefits. The longer the half-life of the medication, the longer it stays in the patient’s system.
Depending on the drug, the amount of medication in the system can have a variable effect. This will depend on the medication and the patient’s sensitivity to the drug. If a drug is present at 70 percent of the initial value within three hours of taking it, it may or may not still be effective.
However, the half-life does provide a general curve to understand how long you can expect treatment effects to last after receiving a dose.
What Is Suboxone?
Suboxone is a combination medication. It includes a highly modified and safe opioid in the form of buprenorphine with another drug called naloxone.
Suboxone was created to help prevent the misuse of opioids and aid patients in their recovery from opioid use disorder.
Addiction medicine providers should provide compassionate care no matter your background. The story of how you became dependent on opioids is not the primary concern. You should never receive any judgment depending on your background.
Ultimately, using medications like Suboxone can help patients struggling with addiction to return to their former life.
Opioids, also known as narcotics, are a certain type of pain reliever. They are usually prescribed by healthcare providers to reduce chronic or severe pain. Opioids help to bind to proteins on nerve cells throughout the body blocking the pain signals and leading to an often positive sensation.
However, opioids can be used over the long term leading to chemical dependence. This means that patients will continue to take opioids just to feel like their baseline selves instead of seeing continued treatment benefits.
How Suboxone Helps
Suboxone is a medication used for patients in this situation. Buprenorphine, one of the components of Suboxone, is used as a partial agonist and long-acting form of an opioid.
This may seem counterintuitive, however, it helps patients reduce their need for seeking their primary form of opioid use. Over time, the medication can be tapered to lead to a reduced chemical need for using opioids.
Naloxone, the second part of the medication, helps to counteract the effects of opioids and prevent the likelihood of misuse. When both of these medications are used in combination, they can help patients tremendously in recovering from opioid use disorder.
What Is the Half-Life of Suboxone?
Because Suboxone needs to be taken regularly by patients to lower their dependents and lead them toward a reduction in opioid use, it’s important to know the half-life.
The most common route for taking Suboxone is under the tongue, also known as sublingual administration. When Suboxone is taken in this way, it will stay in your system for 24 to 48 hours, or even up to eight days, depending on your metabolism. The half-life of the drug during this time is 24 to 48 hours.
Several factors will determine how quickly your body eliminates Suboxone. If you have a higher body fat content percentage, you will have a slower metabolism. Having higher muscle mass correlates with a faster metabolism.
Metabolism also slows down as you age. Someone who is older will process Suboxone slower than someone who is younger.
Of course, taking a higher dose of Suboxone will also take a longer time for the liver to break down.
If you have other medical conditions affecting your liver, this can also affect metabolism. Most of the metabolism of Suboxone will take place in the liver, so other effects on the liver cells can make it more challenging to eliminate Suboxone.
Understanding the Half-Life of Suboxone
At the end of the day, the half-life of Suboxone is approximately 24 to 48 hours. This will depend greatly on the individual and their baseline health characteristics. If you are an older patient who has been taking higher doses of Suboxone for a longer period of time, you can expect to have a longer half-life with more time required to eliminate the drug from your system.
Ultimately, talking to your doctor is the best way to understand the Suboxone half-life curve for your personal situation. If you are trying to understand how long it will take for the drug to be eliminated so you can take a drug test, your physician is the best person to consult.
If you’re looking to find Suboxone clinics near you, we want to help you. To find the best providers in your state, please contact us today.