What Happens If I Swallow Subutex?

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

Subutex comes in the form of a dissolvable tablet. It will not work if it is chewed or swallowed. Swallowing Subutex could lead to opioid withdrawal symptoms and drug cravings.

What Happens If I Swallow Subutex?

Subutex (buprenorphine) comes in the form of a tablet that is meant to dissolve under the tongue. Swallowing Subutex tablets could cause the drug to not work.

When taken properly, Subutex can help treat opioid withdrawal symptoms and opioid dependence. It is commonly prescribed as part of a medication-assisted treatment program.

Learn more about the use of Suboxone in medication-assisted treatment

Can You Swallow Subutex Pills?

It’s not recommended that people who are taking Subutex swallow their dose. This is not how it’s intended to be taken. This reduces its bioavailability and will cause the drug not to work.

People who are taking Subutex should allow the drug to dissolve completely after placing it under the tongue to ensure it absorbs properly.

It can take Subutex about five to 10 minutes to dissolve completely after it’s placed under the tongue. Swallowing it before this could affect its absorption and lead to withdrawal.

Do not eat, drink, or talk until the Subutex tablet, or tablets if taking multiple, have fully dissolved.

Side Effects Of Swallowing Subutex

Swallowing Subutex isn’t dangerous, but it will cause the drug not to work. Because it’s prescribed for opioid dependence, this could lead to opiate withdrawal symptoms.

Potential side effects of swallowing Subutex might include:

  • nausea
  • muscle and bone pain
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • headache
  • insomnia
  • runny nose
  • teary eyes

If you experience opioid withdrawal symptoms after swallowing Subutex, this may be a sign that the drug did not absorb properly, or that you’re taking too low a dose for it to be effective.

Read more about the side effects of Subutex

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What To Do If You Swallow Subutex

If you’ve swallowed Subutex, the first thing to do is to contact your doctor. Your doctor can provide guidance on what to do, based on details pertaining to your specific situation.

Do not take a second dose, or a reduced dose, without first consulting your healthcare provider.

Call Today To Learn More About Subutex Treatment

Subutex is one of the most effective treatments for opioid dependence, in combination with behavioral therapy and substance abuse counseling.

If you have questions about Subutex, or are looking for Subutex treatment for yourself or a loved one addicted to opioids, we may be able to help.

Call our helpline today for more information about how to find a drug treatment program that offers Subutex treatment options near you.

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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