Suboxone vs Methadone

Overview of Suboxone & Methadone

Classification Full Agonist Partial Agonist/Antagonist
Half-Life 8-59 hours 24-60 hours
Other Active Ingredients None Naloxone (opioid antagonist)
U.S. Legal Status Schedule II Schedule III
Dosage Schedule Typically Daily Varies (Every 1-4 days)
Visit Setting Clinic Doctor’s Office
Visit Frequency Typically Everyday (Varies according to program length, state laws, and other factors) Monthly – Biweekly
Abuse Potential High Moderate
Severity of Withdrawal Severe Mild-severe
Ceiling Effect No Yes

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II. Advantages & Disadvantages

Methadone Buprenorphine
Allows addict to temporarily avoid withdrawal symptoms Yes Yes
Allows addict to obtain medication in a safe, clinical environment as opposed to the streets Yes Yes
Eliminates many health risks, such as those associated with IV administration Yes Yes
Dosage can be controlled and gradually reduced Yes Yes
Available at a relatively low cost Yes Not Usually
Level of addiction High Moderate-high
Daily clinical visits required Yes No
Causes euphoria Sometimes Rarely
Level of withdrawal Severe Moderate to mild-severe
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