Buprenorphine Drug Facts

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Buprenorphine (BUP) is a medication for Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) approved by the FDA. It is a part of a comprehensive treatment plan that includes counseling and other behavioral therapies. It is generally yellow or orange in a small rectangular form like breath strips. It is called by some nicknames - subs, bupies, bups, etc. Buprenorphine is one of the medications prescribed for OUD, which has increased for assessment.

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Federal laws like DATA 2000, CARA, and SUPPORT have endorsed the medical usage of Buprenorphine. Only qualified medical professionals can recommend the medication for opioid abusers and Opioid Treatment Program (OTP).

Despite its medical usage, it is abused by some people. Hence DEA had listed the drug under Schedule II of the Controlled Substances Act.

How does Buprenorphine Work?

Buprenorphine is an alternative to methadone and heroin as it subdues the effects and withdrawal symptoms of opioids. It is entirely safe if taken on the physician’s advice. Taking buprenorphine will

  1. Reduce the impact of physical craving for opioids and diminish the results of the withdrawal symptoms
  2. Increase the safety if the opioids are taken an overdose.
  3. Reduces the potential for opioid abuse.

Abusers consume buprenorphine in tablet or film and place it under the tongue or in the buccal cavity. Even though it is less effective than methadone, the overdose of buprenorphine may hit hard on your health, leading to some severe side effects.

Side Effects of Buprenorphine

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Sleeplessness (Insomnia)
  • Giddiness
  • Muscle Weakness
  • Sweating
  • Muscle cramps
  • Fever
  • Dilation in pupils
  • Hand tremors
  • Rapid pulse
  • Lack of concentration

Severe Symptoms of Buprenorphine

  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Insufficient adrenal response.
  • Cramps, pain, and swelling.
  • Nerve damage.

Buprenorphine Detection

Drug dosage in ng/mL

Detection window

5 to 10 ng/mL (Urine)

1 to 3 days

5 to 10 ng/mL (Saliva)

1 to 2 days


Taking Buprenorphine along with a Naloxone combination may prevent the person from getting addicted to the drug.


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