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Subutex And Suboxone: The Difference

Suboxone and Subutex were both developed to help people overcome an opiate addiction — they are, in short, successors to methadone with a lower risk that you'll start abusing this new drug instead of the old one. Both Suboxone and Subutex contain burprenorphine, a drug initially developed to be a pain reliever. As a  partial opioid antagonist, this medication acts to:

  • Prevent withdrawal symptoms
  • Reduce cravings for drugs like heroin as well as for prescription pain killers

Both medications can help you detox safely, though Suboxone appears to have a much lower potential for abuse. Subutex contains another medication called Naloxone precisely to reduce the potential for abuse and maximize your odds of recovery. Under proper medical supervision, which is how both these medications should always be used, both are considered safe. Most people are expected to stay on Suboxone or Subutex for six months to a year; if you stop using the medication before this period of time is over, you are at a much greater risk of relapse. 

Can You Take Subutex Or Suboxone During Pregnancy?

Any opioid-dependence substitution therapy during pregnancy has to evaluate the risk of using the therapy vs the risk that you may relapse if left without the therapy, of course. Substitution therapy lowers your risk of contracting diseases such as hepatitis and HIV and experiencing pregnancy complications, compared to the continued use of opioids. 

Multiple studies have been conducted to find out more about the safety of Subutex and Suboxone during pregnancy. If you are personally using the internet to find out whether you can continue to take either of these medications while you are pregnant, keep in mind that you are going to come across both older and newer data. This will include information that methadone is safer than burprenorphine during pregnancy, and that you should absolutely not that Suboxone while pregnant, because of the Naloxone component. 

Newer data, however, suggests that burprenorphine (Subutex) during pregnancy is actually just as safe in the treatment of opioid dependence as methadone. Because Subutex is a partial opioid, at may additionally be better for your infant. 

As for a burprenorphine-Naloxone combination (Suboxone), research has found that this, too, is safe. More pregnant mothers using Suboxone than other substitution therapies were able to stay off opioids, and their infants had higher birth weights as well. 

So, What Would You Advise?

We at SteadyHealth would advise you to let the healthcare provider who is monitoring your use of Suboxone or Subutex know that you are pregnant as soon as you find out yourself. Do not stop taking the medication against their advice or without their knowledge, but instead discuss the risks and benefits of your medication with your healthcare provider as soon as possible. 

Your healthcare provider will be able to provide you with instructions regarding the dosage, and you'll be able to discuss the possibility of tapering off Suboxone or Subutex if you are ready as well. There is no "one size fits all" approach, and that is why a healthcare provider who knows you is so important. 

In light of the research mentioned above, you don't, however, need to be worried if you find out you are pregnant and are currently taking Subutex or Suboxone. 

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