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How Long Does Suboxone Stay in Your System?

Suboxone is a prescription medication that is used to treat opioid withdrawal and dependence. The prescription contains two medications, buprenorphine and naloxone, which work together to alleviate opioid withdrawal symptoms and cravings. Suboxone can be taken 12-24 hours after your last dose of opioids and, depending on your needs, you may stay on the medication for several days, weeks, or months.


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Factors such as metabolism, dosage, body composition, and liver and kidney function can impact how long Suboxone remains in your system. Depending on the detection method used, Suboxone can be detected for varying periods, ranging from a few hours to several months.


In order to understand how long Suboxone stays in your system, you must look at the drug’s half-life. Half-life is a measure used to describe how long it takes half of a single dose of a drug to be eliminated from the body. It takes about 4-5 half-lives for a drug to be eliminated from your body completely.

Suboxone has a longer half-life than most other opioids. The half-life of buprenorphine is between 24-42 hours and the half-life of naloxone is 2-12 hours. With such a long half-life, Suboxone is considered a long-acting medication and can stay in your system for up to 8 days.


There are several factors that affect Suboxone’s half-life and how long it stays in your body. These include:

  • Metabolism – Each person’s metabolism is unique. Those with a faster metabolic rate may eliminate Suboxone more rapidly than individuals with a slower metabolism. Metabolism can be affected by age, weight, overall health, and certain medical conditions, so this is unique to each individual.
  • Dosage and Duration of Suboxone Use – Higher doses of Suboxone may take longer to be eliminated from the body. Additionally, if you have been taking Suboxone for an extended period, it might accumulate in your system and take longer to clear.
  • Body Composition – Body fat percentage can impact the elimination of Suboxone. Substances tend to accumulate in fatty tissues, causing a longer detection time in individuals with higher body fat levels.
  • Liver and Kidney Function – The liver and kidneys play crucial roles in metabolizing and excreting drugs, including Suboxone. Impaired liver or kidney function might affect Suboxone’s elimination, causing it to stay in your system longer than it would in someone with healthy liver and kidneys. In people with moderate to severe liver impairment, the half-life of buprenorphine is increased by 35-57%.
  • Mixing Suboxone with alcohol or other drugs – Using Suboxone with other drugs, medications, or alcohol can affect how long it takes to leave your body.


Suboxone is metabolized by the liver which breaks down buprenorphine and naloxone into metabolites. Metabolites can stay in your system for longer periods of time than the drugs themselves and can be detected by various types of drug tests.

Standard drug tests don’t screen for Suboxone, but they do screen for opioids, and buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist, so it can cause you to test positive for opioids.

Buprenorphine can be detected in various tissues and bodily fluids for the following durations:


The most popular type of drug test is a urinalysis. Urinalysis drug tests may be conducted by employers, parole/probation officers, drug rehab centers, and more. Buprenorphine can be detected in urine 40 minutes after your last dose and for up to 2 weeks.


Blood tests can detect current drugs in the system, but the detection window is fairly short. This type of test is typically only used in a medical setting due to the invasive nature of blood tests. Buprenorphine can be detected in your blood for 24-48 hours and naloxone may be detected for about 6-12 hours.


A single dose of Suboxone can be detected for up to 2-3 days, but in heavy users, buprenorphine can be detected in saliva for up to a week.


Hair testing involves testing the hair follicle for substances. Hair tests have the longest detection window of all. Suboxone can be detected in the hair follicle for up to 90 days.


If you are undergoing treatment for opioid addiction or have been prescribed Suboxone, it is crucial to follow your doctor’s instructions and use the medication as directed. Deviating from the prescribed dosage or stopping the medication abruptly can have adverse effects on your recovery process.

At the same time, if you are prescribed Suboxone and are taking it as directed, you don’t have to worry about failing a drug test for your employer or another entity. Simply provide your prescription to the test facilitator so they know that you are prescribed Suboxone rather than taking an opioid.

However, if you have been abusing Suboxone and are worried about failing a drug test, but can’t seem to sober up, you may be struggling with an addiction. Suboxone is a valuable tool in the treatment of opioid addiction, and when used as part of a comprehensive treatment plan, it can help individuals achieve recovery and regain control of their lives. But when it is abused, it can be habit-forming and addictive.

If you or a loved one are struggling with Suboxone addiction, please consider speaking with our team at Elevate Recovery Center to learn about your treatment options. Call now to get started.


  1. National Library of Medicine: Suboxone: Rationale, Science, Misconceptions, Retrieved June 2023 from
  2. National Library of Medicine: Update on the clinical use of buprenorphine, Retrieved June 2023 from
  3. National Library of Medicine: Opioid Drugs in Patients With Liver Disease: A Systematic Review, Retrieved June 2023 from
  4. National Library of Medicine: Buprenorphine Dosage and Urine Quantitative Buprenorphine, Norbuprenorphine, and Creatinine Levels in an Office-Based Opioid Treatment Program, Retrieved June 2023 from


Valerie Tecci, Program Director

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