Suboxone vs. Subutex – What’s the Difference?

Nashville Suboxone Clinic gets asked the question, “What’s the difference between Suboxone and Subutex?” frequently. Here’s the lowdown on the difference between Suboxone and Subutex.


Suboxone is a blended medication consisting of Buprenorphine and Naloxone. A typical dose is 8mg Buprenorphine and 2mg Naloxone, or a multiple of this dose taken daily. Together, Naloxone and Buprenorphine eliminate withdrawal symptoms, allow most patient’s to feel “normal” again, and prevent relapse by blocking narcotics from working.

Naloxone: Naloxone binds to opioid receptors in the brain in place of opioid drugs. When opioids are prevented from binding to these receptors, the brain does not flood with dopamine due to the intoxicating substance. Although naloxone can have some side effects, it does not induce any euphoria when bound to opioid receptors in the brain, nor does it kill pain. It simply prevents opioids from binding there, which can temporarily reverse an overdose. The effects of naloxone begin within 2-5 minutes after the medication is administered.

Buprenorphine:  Buprenorphine interacts with the same receptors in the brain that are affected by opiates such as heroin and oxycodone — but, without causing the disorienting high that results from opiate abuse. Because of this, individuals who take Suboxone or Subutex under proper professional supervision can live their lives without experiencing the cravings that would normally occur in the absence of the opiate to which they had become addicted. Buprenorphine basically “tricks” the brain into believing that it has encountered an opiate which eliminates withdrawal.


Subutex consists only of Buprenorphine (no Naloxone). Some physicians prefer Suboxone, others prefer Subutex. Some states require Suboxone due primarily to the additional benefits Naloxone provides, while other states are indifferent. In the State of Tennessee, Suboxone is the preferred medicine. Subutex is used, but usually reserved for addicts who are pregnant, or who suffer from elevated liver enzymes, HEP C, etc.

In Closing…
Either medication, Suboxone or Subutex,  is helpful on the path of recovery for those addicted to narcotics. For many these drugs are considered a “miracle drug”, since it allows them to function as normal without withdrawals, without cravings, and virtually eliminating the possibility of relapse. The Suboxone doctors (and Subutex doctors) at Suboxone Clinic Nashville are experienced in choosing the best medication to suit the patient’s individual needs.

Be part of the solution – Call Today
If you or someone you know is suffering from addiction, be part of the solution by calling or texting Nashville Recovery today at (615) 431-3701.

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