Subutex (buprenorphine) is a medication prescribed for the treatment of opioid dependence and opioid use disorder. It is typically initiated during early opioid withdrawal.
Subutex is manufactured in two dosage amounts. It is taken as a single daily dose when prescribed as a maintenance medication.
Subutex Dosage Strengths
Subutex is prescribed in the form of sublingual tablets. These tablets are to be taken by mouth, by applying the tablet under the tongue to dissolve. Do not swallow Subutex.
Subutex tablets are manufactured in two dosage strengths: 2 milligram (mg) tablets, and 8 mg tablets.
What Is The Starting Dose For Subutex?
Subutex use is generally initiated during the opioid detox process, at least 4 hours after the last use of a short-acting opioid (e.g. heroin) or 24 hours after a long-acting opioid (e.g. methadone).
During early withdrawal, Subutex may be administered by a healthcare professional in 2 mg to 4 mg increments.
Over the first few days of acute withdrawal, detox professionals may adjust the amount of Subutex administered, based on the individual needs of the patient.
Subutex Dosage For Maintenance
The typical maintenance dose of Subutex ranges between 4 mg and 24 mg. The target dose is 16 mg. Daily doses of Subutex that exceed 24 mg have not shown any clinical advantage.
The daily dose a person takes may be adjusted over time or may be maintained indefinitely.
People who take Subutex as a maintenance medication may continue to do so under clinical supervision for as long as they benefit from the treatment.
Factors That Can Affect Prescribed Subutex Dosages
Not everyone who takes Subutex is prescribed the same dose. A treatment provider will prescribe and adjust a person’s Subutex dose based on a variety of factors.
Factors considered when prescribing Subutex include:
- opioid dependence: The severity of a person’s opioid dependence while beginning Subutex treatment will influence the dose they’re prescribed for maintenance.
- duration of Subutex use: Generally, a person’s Subutex dose is decreased gradually from induction, or adjusted over the course of the first few days to find a suitable dose.
- type of opioid used: The type of opioid drug a person has developed a physical dependence on may affect the amount of Subutex prescribed (e.g. heroin dependence vs. methadone dependence).
Determining A Subutex Dose
Healthcare professionals who prescribe Subutex will take into account several factors, including reported symptoms, as they identify a correct dose for someone who is opioid-dependent.
A “correct dose” is one that is determined to be safe and effective for its intended use. In the case of Subutex, this may mean treating symptoms of opioid withdrawal or for maintenance.
Call For Information About Subutex Treatment Today
Subutex is prescribed for the treatment of opioid use disorder, which affects an estimated 1.6 million Americans and can be life-threatening without treatment.
Call our helpline today to find more information about Subutex or to find a treatment provider that offers Subutex treatment for opioid addiction near you.
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- American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) — A Patient’s Guide to Starting Buprenorphine at Home
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) — Buprenorphine
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) — Subutex (buprenorphine sublingual tablets)