Experiences, Facts and Stories about Suboxone Withdrawal

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How long does Suboxone Withdrawal Last?

This is the number one question asked and in simple terms– it lasts a pretty long time and it sucks really bad.

Now for some real medical explanation about the length of Suboxone Withdrawal.  First of all, Buprenorphine’s duration of action is not dependent on the serum halflife.  It is highly protein bound a actnd primarily hepatically metabolized (CYP 3A4). The agent is subject to extensive first pass metabolism. Buprenorphine undergoes Ndealkylation to norbuprenorphine and glucoronidation. Norbuprenorphine is an active metabolite, which has little efficacy but is a potent respiratory depressant.

Suboxone StripsSo what does this mean?  It means that Suboxone undergoes changes as your liver metabolizes is, and each resultant metabolite has specific actions and lengths of duration.  The long half-life of Suboxone is a good and bad thing, it is good because the Suboxone takes a long time to be filtered from your body.  But the long half-life can make withdrawals very long, and from personal experience I can say that it is relatively severe, not as severe as withdrawal from oxycontin or heroin, but annoyingly long lasting.  The other negative of the way Suboxone is metabolized is that it turns into different substances that themselves have a duration of action and can contribute to withdrawal symptoms.

From experience, and talking with others I have learned that the best way to minimize withdrawal symptoms is a very, very slow and very very gradual taper.  You can use the Suboxone Taper Charting Tool on this site to build your own taper schedule and see if your doctor is willing to let you follow it. You should never adjust your medication without doctor approval.

Drug Abuse and Dependence:

Buprenorphine can cause physical dependence with continuous administration. Individuals may experience withdrawal symptoms upon
abrupt discontinuation. However, the effects are usually milder than what is experienced with a full opioid agonist.

Adverse Effects:

Side effects of buprenorphine are similar to those of other opioids.

Common:

  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • constipation
  • headaches
  • sweating
  • sleep difficulties
  • hypotension
  • sedation
  • flu-like symptoms.

Buprenorphine can precipitate an opioid withdrawal syndrome.

Signs and symptoms of opioid withdrawal include:

  • dysphoric mood
  • GI distress (nausea, vomiting, diarrhea)
  • myalgias
  • lacrimation
  • rhinorrhea
  • pupillary dilation
  • sweating
  • piloerection
  • yawning
  • mild fever
  • insomnia.

Rare:

  • Respiratory depression, which can potentially result in death.
  • Most of the fatal cases occurred in combination with other CNS depressants such as alcohol or benzodiazepines.

Stories about Suboxone Withdrawal – One I respectfully disagree with

I found this story on answers.com about a persons experience with Suboxone Withdrawal and it is quite a bit different than I’ve experience and close friends of mine have experienced.  I have found that Suboxone withdrawal last much longer although I do agree the symptoms are milder. YMMV. Also agree with the statement that cold-turkey Suboxone is bad. Long shallow taper is the way to go and I mean long and shallow.
Suboxone takes about 2-5 days for the worst part of the symptoms to go away, and a couple weeks for mild symptoms to deminish. It kinda sucks cuz I’m actually goin through it right now. Today is my third day and i decided to snort about .25 mg to take away the chills. Its not that bad though, I’ve definetly been through allot worse having been through withdrawls from herion, cocaine, and alchahol. Not all at once of course, I’ve taken each one to the limit many times in the past 4 years. Pretty crazy sein how I’m only 18 yrs. old. I swear i know almost everything about drugs. And trust me i know that’s not cool at all. I really hate drugs, they just seem to like me allot for some reason. but ya my fingers hurt so i hope i was a little bit of help. If you have any other questions about suboxone or ne thing else feel free to ask. Peace.
I have been on suboxone for 2 yrs and recently went off it. I quit it on a Monday, and didn’t notice anything for a few days, then the withdrawls kicked in. I was depressed, with diarreah, and cold and hot sweats and an overall feeling of pure exaustion. It’s been a little over a week now and I’m slowly feeling better each day. I still can’t stay asleep though. I thought the suboxone was a wonderful drug to get me off my lortab addiction, but they always told me there wouldn’t be any withdrawl with the suboxone. They lied.
IV,E COME OFF SUBUTEX COLD TURKEY THEN SUBOXONE YEARS LATER BY TAPERING.COLD TURKEY IS TERRIBLE AND IT TAKES 2 DAYS BEFORE YOU EVEN START TO W/D.THE WORST OF IT LASTS TIL ABOUT 10 TO 12 DAYS BUT YOU STILL CANT SLEEP RIGHT AND GET RESTLESS FOR AROUND SIX WEEKS AFTER QUITING.IF YOU TAPER ITS A LOT EASIER BUT YOU,VE GOT TO SLOW IT RIGHT RIGHT DOWN WHEN YOU GO UNDER 2MG.IF YOU TAKE YOUR TIME UNDER 2MG,AND ARE PREPARED TO DRAG IT OUT,THEN YOU WILL TAPER OFF IT A LOT EASIER.YES.YOU WILL STILL HAVE W/D SYMPTOMS BUT THEY WONT BE NEAR AS BAD AS GOING COLD TURKEY.BUPRENORPHINE W/D IS NOT AS BAD AS METHADONE W/D COLD TURKEY AS IV,E COME OFF THAT TOO.Read more: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_long_will_withdrawal_symptoms_from_suboxone_last#ixzz1y1cmBfqX
References:
1. Johnson, R.E., Strain, E.C., & Amass L. (2003). Buprenorphine: how to use it
right. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 70, s59-s77.
2. Subutex®, Suboxone®. [package insert]. Reckitt-Benickser Pharmaceuticals.
Richmond, Va.
3. Johnson, R.E., Chutuape, M.A., Strain, E.C., Walsh, S.L., Stitzer, M.L., Bigelow, 
G.E. (2000). A comparison of levomethadyl acetate, burpenorphine, and
methadone for opioid dependence. NEJM, 343(18), 1290-1297.
4. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services (SAMHSA). About Buprenorphine
Therapy. http://buprenorphine.samhsa.gov/about.html.
5. Johnson, R.E., Jaffe, J.H., Fudala, P.J. (1992). A controlled trial of burpenorphine
treatment for opioid dependence. JAMA, 267, 2750-2755.
6. Mattick RP, Kimber J, Breen C, Davoli M Buprenorphine maintenance versus
placebo or methadone maintenance for opioid dependence (Cochrane Review). In:
The Cochrane Library, Issue 4, 2003. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
7. Liu, Z.M., Cai, Z.J., Wang, X.P., Ge, Y., Li, C.M. (1997). Rapid detoxification of
heroin dependence by buprenorphine. Acta Pharmacologica Sinica, 18(2), 112-
114. 

US-N8V-4CHN-C IT Guy

Professional software engineer and part-time website developer. Created this site to help those needing to taper from addictive drugs without attending a full-blown drug treatment program. This site is supported entirely by advertising revenue, if you are planning to purchase something from Amazon, please navigate to Amazon using one of our links so that we might earn a small referral fee - it won't affect your pricing and you'll be able to return the favor at no cost to you. Please don't click other advertisements unless you are sincerely interested in the product so that we won't be penalized for invalid clicks. Thank you for your support.

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4 Responses

  1. Stephanie says:

    i switched from methadone 180 mgs to suboxone and it is now day 7. I went into a seizer and am so weak. I cant eat or sleep i have been throwing up stomach acid. I can hardly move. I quit taking 4 mgs of suboxone cold turkey. I have never felt this bad!

    • SubotexAdmin says:

      Hi Stephanie, I hope that you are doing better! You are really quitting HARD, 4mg is a pretty high dose to quit cold turkey. IF possible and your doctor is willing split an 8mg strip into 16 pieces, or slice a 4mg strip into 8 pieces using a razor blade or scissors. This will give you 1/2 mg doses which are surprisingly effective, they will at least cut the withdrawal from agonizing to just normal hell.

      If possible taper more slowly, try staying on 4mg for a while then 2mg then 1mg over at least one month. I have a taper charting calculator tool I build on this website I’ll post a link to it. You put the dose amounts in there anc click the button to see the graph of how long it takes the suboxone to leave your blood stream.

      It takes a good 4 or 5 days for Suboxone withdrawal to peak…. I hope you are OK

    • SubotexAdmin says:

      Here is the page that has a link to the Suboxone Tapering Tool !! Good Luck !! Let me know how it is going!

    • Richard says:

      Yikes, I did not know that could happen from stopping Suboxone fast like that. But I take Klonopin for anxiety and it causes seizure too if you stop them, I was thinking of suing CVS because they wouldn’t fill my Klonopin which I’ve had to take for 25 years, I ended up in hospital and the triage nurse told me that my blood pressure was dangerously high, 212 over 180’somthing they admitted me into the ER immediately and had four people working on me taking blood from both sides running blood gas tests and everything else,, the doc told me to never stop taking benzodiazapines no matter what my friends say. Sometimes my friends say, “you are a pussy for taking that stuff”, so I quit and ended up in the hospital. I know its been a long time I hope you are feeling better. I’ve been in a funk for a while and wasn’t reading comments, life is up and down a lot, job situation very bad, we lost our home due to HAMP fraud in Florida, then got an RV and rented a pad at RV lot and we ran out of money so were going to have to leave the RV pad at the end of this month, but God came through with a blessing and we found someone else that would rent us a spot for $300 a month, that is just to park the RV there we still need to pay electric but its a lot cheaper than a mortgage. Take care!

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