Subutex and suboxone are two of the drugs approved by the FDA for the treatment of addiction to opiates. Both of these medications are able to contradict the influence of opiates on the brain. Also, both of these medications can prompt opiate addicts to stop the use of heroin or pills like Vicodin and OxyContin without painful withdrawal symptoms or drug cravings. But do you know what the difference is between the two and which one is most suitable for you?
- Both of these drugs actually have the same primary active ingredient, buprenorphine, which in medical terms is an opioid partial antagonist.
- The substance can interact with the brain receptors affected by the opiates including oxycodone and heroin, but without the “high” sensation that is known to disorient an individual as in opiate abuse.
- People who use Subutex or Suboxone with close supervision of a proper professional can continue to live life without the intense cravings that are normally present when addicts are unable to take opiates.
Buprenorphine tricks your brain into thinking that it is another opiate.
Opiate addiction has the potential to alter the structure of one’s brain. If you are not addicted to any opiate, you have several opioid receptors in your brain. The receptors can be activated with endogenous neural endorphin chemicals that are normal to everyone. However, once you begin using opiate medication, you begin to saturate the opioid receptors of your brain in exchange for that euphoric feeling.
Regardless of how much you are dosing, all kinds of opiate users will develop a certain tolerance to opiates and its effects. You will need to use more and more doses to get the same euphoric feeling with smaller doses. The brain can respond to the regular use of the medication by increasing the number of opiate receptors. With more opiate receptors found in your brain, you will need higher doses of opiates to fully saturate all the receptors.
The single active ingredient of Subutex is Buprenorphine. On the other hand, Suboxone contains BOTH buprenorphine and naloxone.
Naloxone has been included in the formulation of Suboxone to keep individuals from abusing the drug. If you are used to getting high on heroin and you used an IV dose of naloxone, then you would immediately crash into a state of withdrawal.
Naloxone is an opiate antagonist that fills the opiate receptors of your brain so that no other drugs will be able to activate those receptors. Buprenorphine, on the other hand, will fill and activate these receptors; naloxone cannot. So the person taking Naloxone will feel intense and immediate withdrawal pains.
If you are using Suboxone as prescribed, usually taking an oral pill which is dissolved under the tongue, small amounts of naloxone will not have any noticeable effects. Buprenorphine will be able to travel through the brain giving you the relief you need from withdrawal pain.
Do not, however, attempt to inject Suboxone. Abusing naloxone can become fully activated leaving you in a condition of full withdrawal. The state cannot be reversed by using opiate drugs or heroin.