Does Suboxone show up in a drug test? – Credihealth Blog

Suboxone does NOT show up on a common drug test. Suboxone is not a common drug that is tested unless specifically demanded. A 12-panel drug test may identify the presence of drug traces if the individual takes the medication frequently. A GC/MS test can identify the level of the drug traces accurately. 

Suboxone can produce similar effects as opioid drugs, but it does not show up on drug tests. According to its drug testing policies and culture, the employer needs to expand its drug testing panels to trace the suboxone drug metabolites. 

What is Suboxone?

The combination of BUP (buprenorphine) and naloxone is called by the brand name – Suboxone. It is an FDA-approved drug to treat certain conditions like pain relief and opioid addiction. It is also used to decrease symptoms of opioid withdrawal and prevent cravings.

Suboxone is available as oral films and tablets that can be kept under the tongue to dissolve. The films can be placed in between the cheek and gums to dissolve.

Suboxone Uses

Suboxone is a regulated drug used in the induction phase and maintenance treatment phase of opioid dependence treatment.

Suboxone helps in reducing withdrawal symptoms during the induction phase and controls the symptoms of withdrawal and cravings during the maintenance phase of the drug abuse treatment program. Other uses of Suboxone are

  • Treating depression and provides
  • Relaxation to the mind.
  • Treating chronic pain.
  • Treating opioid dependence.
  • Managing withdrawal symptoms of opioids during detoxification.

How Does Suboxone Work?

Suboxone contains two components, buprenorphine and naloxone. BUP helps in treating opioid drug dependence and aids in reducing the symptoms of withdrawal and drug cravings. Naloxone, an opioid antagonist, acts by blocking the effects of opioid drugs and stops the feeling of euphoria. 

It is better to use Suboxone in a film form rather than through injection. It is because injection releases the naloxone quickly into the body, immediately blocking the opioid effects. Instead, the film will slowly release the naloxone into the body, thereby reducing side effects.

Is Suboxone listed as a Controlled Substance?

Suboxone comes under the schedule III drug as per the Controlled Substance Act. Even though it may have fewer chances of causing euphoria and other side effects, it may act as a potential alternative opioid if taken overdose.

Suboxone can only be prescribed by a certified and a trained physician. The law had limited the doctors not to treat more than 30 patients with BUP for the first year after completing their certification. 

Symptoms and Side Effects of Suboxone

If you take Suboxone, you may experience mild or severe side effects. Mild symptoms may fade away within a few days or weeks. Some of the side effects include nausea, headache, depression, sweating, fatigue, body ache. Some of them might face serious side effects like allergic conditions, hormonal imbalance, coma, and addiction.

If any of the above or other symptoms occur while taking Suboxone, it is advisable to call your prescribing doctor or visit the nearest emergency room if the symptoms are severe or threatening.

How Long Suboxone Stays In Your System?

Suboxone can stay in your system for 5 to 8 days (for a non-addicted). This might depend on the dosage and the intake frequency. The BUP in the Suboxone gets absorbed itself faster within 24 to 48 hours. It may take more if not consumed sublingually. But Naloxone may take longer and have a low rate of absorption when taken sublingually. BUP can get eliminated through urine and feces, whereas naloxone can get eliminated only through urine.

Can Suboxone get identified in a Drug Test?

No, Suboxone will not appear naturally on a drug test unless mainly tested for BUP and Naloxone. Most organizations will be using drug panels to test the employees and new hires. So, it is very rare to identify traces of Suboxone. 

Some institutions might expand their drug testing panels to check for prescription medication abuse. In that case, you might get positive results for Suboxone if you are taking those medications. You need not panic. Just inform your tester about your suboxone medication that can keep you away from trouble.

Most treatment centers may prefer conducting urine drug tests for Suboxone and other opioids. Instant drug test kits look for opioids in urine specimens but don’t identify the presence of Suboxone. But there are specific home drug test kits that can screen for BUP. If your result is positive for BUP, then it is considered positive for Suboxone. Suboxone mainly doesn’t cause false positives for other opioid drugs.

If you are taking Suboxone and about to stop your medications or become addicted, and you joined a rehab, you should be aware of its consequences. Yes, you may experience withdrawal symptoms during the detoxification process. Let us know about that.

Suboxone Withdrawal

Suboxone can create physical and psychological dependence if it is used for the long term. It is best not to stop abruptly; Suboxone can lead to withdrawal symptoms like nausea, body aches, pains, headaches, etc. It would help if you got the guidance of a certified healthcare professional and slowly process your detoxification process to prevent the impact of withdrawal symptoms.  Suboxone withdrawal symptoms include headache, nausea, diarrhea, irritability, drug cravings, etc.


No organization or institution may test you for Suboxone unless it is specifically tested for. A 12-panel drug test may identify the presence of Suboxone if taken long-term. If your company wants a more accurate reading, they may conduct a GC/MS test that can indicate the level of Suboxone in your body. So, it is better to indicate to your tester about your drug intake so that you can save yourself from getting into unnecessary trouble.

Disclaimer: The statements, opinions, and data contained in these publications are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of Credihealth and the editor(s). 

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