• Cort
    Health Guide
    February 07, 2011
    Health Guide
    February 07, 2011

    Butrans or buprenorphine is an opioid based drug used to treat moderate to severe pain that produces less of a "high" than other opioid based products.  Subuxone contains buprenorphine but it also contains naloxene which blocks the effects of opioid based drugs. Subuxone is  used to assist with withdrawal from these drugs. Butrans is simply used for pain.

    • Christina Lasich, MD
      February 09, 2011
      Christina Lasich, MD
      Health Pro
      February 09, 2011

      Nice try Cort.


      Butrans and Suboxone both contain Buprenorphine, the primary active ingredient. The difference is the delivery system for the Buprenorphine. Butrans is a TRANSdermal delivery system. Suboxone is a sublinguial delivery system. Both will create a steady-state blood level of buprenorphine in the body when used as directed.


      Suboxone does contain Naloxone in order to prevent tampering. Naloxone only becomes active if the sublinguial delivery system is tampered with. When Suboxone is used as directed, Naloxone passes through without activation.


      Buprenorphine (both Butrans and Suboxone) does block the effects of other opioids by virtue of its agonist/partial antagonist relationship with the opioid receptor. Buprenorphine is an opioid receptor "bully" kicking everyone else off and away.


      Now, the other difference between the two is marketing. Butrans is marketed for pain and Suboxone is marketed for the treatment of opioid chemical dependency. In reality, both can be used for either condition.


      And that is the real story about Butrans and Suboxone.


      Dr. Christina Lasich, MD

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