Methadone vs Suboxone

by Admin

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methadone vs suboxone

methadone vs suboxone

Methadone vs Suboxone : How Do They Compare?

When considering methadone vs suboxone treatment for narcotic addiction (including Oxycontin, heroin, and many pain killers) there are three main choices: methadone, suboxone (buprenorphine) or abstinence. The idea of abstinence is discussed here. Both of these are great medications and have their good and bad.

Methadone vs Suboxone : Methadone

Methadone has been around longer and has a clear track record of its risks and benefits.  Suboxone was approved for opioid treatment in 2002 . It has been gaining more popularity. Methadone vs suboxone : how they are similar:

How they are similar:

  • They are narcotics
  • They are addictive
  • One will get withdrawals when stopping the medication
  • Prescribed by a doctor
  • Last long in system (>1 day)

Methadone vs Subxone : the Differences:


  • Prescribed for addiction only in approved treatment centers-bad
  • Highly abused-bad
  • Fatal in overdose (stop breathing)-very bad
  • Abused by IV use-bad
  • Increased risk HIV, STD and other diseases from IV use-bad
  • Daily clinic visits to receive medication-bad
  • Cheap-good
  • Well studied and understood-good
  • Reduced crime and improved employment with use-good
  • Generally available-good
  • Most used during pregnancy-good

Suboxone (buprnorphine/naloxone combination)

  • Expensive-bad
  • Cannot suddenly stop (withdrawals)-bad
  • Can be fatal if combined with alcohol or benzodiazepines (Xanax)-bad
  • Less abused-good
  • Much less IV use and less disease (HIV) risk-good
  • Improves functioning and employment-good
  • Much less available-bad but improving rapidly
  • Available in doctor’s office-good

What usually ends up being the deciding factor with methadone vs suboxone is cost.  Both cost about the same (around $7000/year total) for office visits, medication, and counseling. However,  methadone treatment is subsidized by the government.  The out of pocket cost to the patient is only a fraction of the cost of Suboxone.  With more insurances covering Suboxone, this is slowly changing. The only main concern for patients is clinic visits.  Methadone requires daily visits to a clinic early in the morning. This  is very inconvenient. A Suboxone prescription can be given in a physician’s office for one month or longer. Finally, Suboxone lasts longer in the system. Some patients can take doses less frequently than daily.


Methadone vs Suboxone : Find a Doctor Who Can Help You Choose:

If you feel you need help with which is better for you, methadone vs suboxone , and are looking for a doctor who prescribes Suboxone or methadone , click here for our buprenophine physician registry.  If you think you may need more intensive treatment such a methadone detox, other opioid detox, or getting started on buprenorphine inpatient, click here for our state opioid treatment center registry.


Here are some helpful links when looking at which is best for you: methadon vs suboxone :


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