Suboxone Pills Vs. Suboxone Strips: Which Is Better?

Medically Reviewed by Johnelle Smith, M.D on July 14, 2021

Suboxone pills and Suboxone strips are both effective in treating opioid withdrawal symptoms. Some prefer pills for their discreet nature and cost-effectiveness, while others prefer strips because they absorb better.

Suboxone Strips Vs. Suboxone Pills

Both Suboxone pills and strips are used to treat the symptoms of opioid withdrawal. This medication is meant to be placed under the tongue or in the cheek until fully dissolved.

There are pros and cons to both pills and strips, with the most popular choice being Suboxone strips. For the most part, choosing between the two comes down to preference.

Learn more about using Suboxone for opioid addiction treatment

The Differences Between Suboxone Pills And Strips

While Suboxone pills and strips both serve the same purpose, there are differences between the two that may influence the decision for someone just starting on Suboxone.

Price: Pills Are Cheaper

Suboxone strips can cost between $40 and $60 for 14 of the 2 mg (milligrams)/0.5 mg strips, and closer to $220 for the 12 mg/3 mg strips.

Suboxone pills are cheaper and cost between $25 to $45 for 14 of the 2 mg (milligrams)/0.5 mg tablets, and between $40 to $100 for the 8 mg/2 mg tablets.

Absorption: Strips Absorb Better

Suboxone pills take longer to dissolve under the tongue than the strips do. Many patients who use Suboxone prefer strips because they absorb better.

Strips are thinner and dissolve faster, so it’s generally more comfortable to use strips versus holding a pill in place for a longer period of time.

Stigma: Pills Are More Discreet

Treating opioid addiction with Suboxone is a good and important step toward recovery. However, some may still struggle with letting others know about their recovery.

In this sense, pills are more discreet than strips and carry less stigma. A person just starting Suboxone treatment may feel more comfortable using a pill than a strip.

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Taste: Some Prefer Pills

Both of the active ingredients in Suboxone have a bitter taste and bad aftertaste.

And while both tablets and strips have this taste, researchers have found many people prefer the taste of the pills over strips.

However, the drawback is that tablets take longer to dissolve, so the bitter taste will rest in the mouth for longer.

Is One More Effective Than The Other?

Both Suboxone pills and strips are effective methods of treating the symptoms of opioid withdrawal. They are equally as effective but differ slightly in the exposure of naloxone.

Suboxone strips tend to absorb better into the mouth, which can lead to more exposure to the naloxone in Suboxone.

Some doctors may recommend the pill version in order to decrease the level at which the patient is being exposed to naloxone.

Tips For Taking Suboxone Pills And Strips

Here are a few tips for using Suboxone pills and strips.

Do Not Crush Or Cut The Medication

Suboxone pills and strips need to be fully dissolved in the mouth or they won’t be as effective.

Some people crush Suboxone pills or cut the strips in order to decrease the dose and taper off the drug, but this should never be done unless directed to do so by the prescribing doctor.

Use the medication as prescribed and allow it to dissolve completely before moving it, eating, drinking, or doing anything else that may change the effectiveness of the drug.

Drink Water First

When taking Suboxone tablets and strips, it’s best to take a few sips of water before putting the medication under the tongue or in the cheek.

This will help the Suboxone tablet or strip to dissolve faster and absorb better, maximizing the effectiveness of the medication.

This is especially important when using Suboxone tablets, because they’ll take longer to dissolve and require more moisture.

Find Suboxone Treatment For Opioid Addiction

Suboxone will treat the symptoms of opioid withdrawal, but it will not cure the addiction.

In order to reach goals of long-term sobriety, it’s essential that Suboxone be used in combination with other social support, behavioral therapy, vocational development, and other factors.

Here are a few addiction treatment programs that can offer Suboxone:

If you’d like to learn more about Suboxone treatment, and which programs offer this medication as a part of its recovery plan, call our helpline today.

This page does not provide medical advice. See more

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Medically Reviewed by
Johnelle Smith, M.D on July 14, 2021
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