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Subutex (sublingual buprenorphine tablets) and Suboxone are both brand name medications that were developed for the treatment of opiate addiction and were both approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2002.

The primary difference between Subutex and Suboxone is that Suboxone contains both buprenorphine and naloxone, whereas Subutex contains only buprenorphine. Additionally, although generic forms of sublingual buprenorphine remain available in the United States, in 2011, Reckitt Benckiser Pharmaceuticals Inc., the manufacturer of Subutex, chose to discontinue the drug in the United States after developing new formulations that were less likely to be abused. 


Being made solely of buprenorphine, Subutex is a partial opioid antagonist that binds to opioid receptors in the brain and causes reduced pain and increased feelings of wellbeing. Although it is not a full opioid, it does act similarly to one, but it lacks the ability to cause an individual to experience feelings of euphoria when taken as directed. Subutex was formatted prior to Suboxone, and although it was found to be relatively effective, there was still a tendency for users to abuse the substance. 


Suboxone is a brand-name drug that is comprised of buprenorphine and naloxone. It is classified as a Schedule III controlled substance, which according to the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is defined as “drugs, substances, or chemicals with a moderate to low potential for physical and psychological dependence.” As a partial agonist, buprenorphine only allows this medication to partially bind to one’s opioid receptors. Naloxone works by counteracting the effects of opioids on one’s brain. Therefore, an individual who attempts to abuse opioids, while taking Suboxone will experience adverse effects due to the naloxone. The combination of ingredients that make up Suboxone makes it a less desirable drug to abuse and allows it to produce minimal opioid effects enabling it to significantly reduce the adverse withdrawal symptoms, but not enough to produce any feelings of euphoria. 

Further Information and Support

Navigating the challenges that arise from living with mental illness, struggling with substance abuse, and/ or addiction can not only be all-consuming but are often impossible to effectively handle without proper support. If you are concerned for yourself or a loved one regarding mental illness, substance abuse, and/ or addiction we recommend reaching out for help as soon as possible. Bear in mind that you do not have to be on this journey alone. At {Upwell Advisors}, we offer unique, customized concierge therapeutic services to provide our clients with unparalleled support throughout every step of the recovery process. 

Feel free to reach to contact us anytime via email at [email protected] We look forward to supporting you on your journey.

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