Methadone and Suboxone are two of the most common medications used to treat opioid addiction.
Methadone has been around for a long time and is very effective in helping people overcome their addiction. However, there have been some concerns about its safety in recent years.
On the other hand, Suboxone is a newer medication developed to address some of these concerns. It is just as effective as Methadone but is safer and has fewer side effects.
This article will look at a comprehensive comparison between the two substance medications, Methadone and Suboxone.
The Difference Between a Methadone and Suboxone
What is Methadone?
Methadone is a medication used to help people addicted to opioids overcome their addiction. It does this by binding to the same receptors in the brain that opioids bind to without causing the same high.
Methadone is a very effective medication, but it can be dangerous if misused. Accordingly, the substance helps to reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms and makes it easier for people to stick to their treatment plan.
Moreover, Methadone is available in both pill and liquid form and is usually taken once daily. Once people are stabilized on Methadone, they can gradually reduce their dosage under medical supervision.
Side Effects of Methadone
The most common side effects of Methadone include the following:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Stomach Pain
Withdrawal Effects When Stopping Methadone
Aside from the side effects you might experience while taking the drug; if you suddenly stop taking Methadone, you may experience withdrawal symptoms. These can include:
- Muscle aches and pains
- Nausea and vomiting
Benefits of Methadone for Opioid Addiction Treatment
Methadone has benefits for those who are undergoing treatment for their opioid addiction. Generally, methadone therapy is considered the most effective, and some of the benefits it has to offer are:
- Medication Assisted Treatment with Methadone has high success rates. It is estimated that Methadone helps 70% of people who stick with their treatment plan to overcome their addiction.
- Methadone is also very effective at preventing relapse. In one study, only 20% of people treated with Methadone relapsed within the first year, compared to 90% of those not treated with Methadone.
- Using Methadone as a treatment for Opioid Addiction does not have a ceiling effect where the dosage has to be increased to maintain the same level of effectiveness. Methadone is long-acting, so it only needs to be taken once daily.
- Pregnant women can safely take Methadone—and taking Methadone is less likely to miscarry or have premature babies than women who are not treated with Methadone.
What is a Suboxone?
Meanwhile, like Methadone, Suboxone is also a medication used to help people addicted to opioids overcome their addiction.
This substance is used for the suboxone treatment, where it can be administered under the tongue or by injection. It is available as a sublingual film that dissolves under the tongue. Suboxone can also come in as a buccal film that sticks inside your cheek and is usually taken once a day.
Moreover, Suboxone is a potent medication proven to decrease drug cravings and withdrawal symptoms while making it more straightforward for patients to maintain their treatment regimen.
Below, let us further discuss Suboxone’s side effects.
Side Effects of Suboxone
The most common side effects of taking Suboxone include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Numbness in Your Mouth
- Swollen or Painful Tongue
- Redness Inside Mouth
Withdrawal Effects When Stopping Suboxone
Suboxone withdrawal is similar to opioid withdrawal and can include the following:
- Muscle Aches and Pains
- Nausea and vomiting
- Cold sweats
Benefits of Suboxone for Opioid Addiction Treatment
- Suboxone is just as effective as Methadone at treating opioid addiction, but it is safer and has fewer side effects.
- Suboxone can be prescribed by any doctor who has completed an eight-hour training course. This makes it easier to access than Methadone, which specially licensed doctors can only prescribe.
- Suboxone is less likely to be misused than Methadone because it has a ceiling effect. This means that taking more Suboxone will not produce a better high, so there is no incentive to misuse it.
- Pregnant women can safely take Suboxone.
Methadone vs. Suboxone
Key Comparisons Between the Two
Now that we have looked at the difference between Methadone and Suboxone, let’s quickly compare and contrast the two substances.
1. Methadone is more likely to be misused than Suboxone: This happens because Methadone produces a euphoric high.
Meanwhile, Suboxone does not have a high, so it is less likely to be misused.
2. Methadone is less safe than Suboxone: Methadone can be deadly if misused, while Suboxone is much safer. Accordingly, it has more side effects than Suboxone.
3. Methadone is more regulated than Suboxone: Methadone can only be prescribed by specially licensed doctors, while any doctor who has completed an eight-hour training course can prescribe Suboxone.
4. Methadone is harder to access than Suboxone: Methadone is only available at Methadone clinics, while any doctor can prescribe Suboxone.
5. Methadone is longer-acting than Suboxone: Methadone stays in your system for 24 to 36 hours, while Suboxone only lasts for around 12 hours.
Similarly, both Methadone and Suboxone are:
- Effective at treating opioid addiction
- A doctor can prescribe it
- Safe for pregnant women to take
- Taken once a day
- Associated with some side effects
Which is Better, Methadone or Suboxone?
Now that we have looked at the critical differences between Methadone and Suboxone, you may wonder which option is better. The answer to this question depends on each individual’s situation.
If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, Suboxone is the better option. On the other hand, if you have a history of substance abuse, Methadone may be the better option. If you have liver damage, it is best to use Suboxone.
Despite all these, the best way to decide which medication is proper for you is to speak to your doctor or a professional who can help you make the best decision for your individual needs.
Methadone and Suboxone are both effective medications for treating opioid addiction, but they each have pros and cons. The best way to decide which one is right for you is to speak to your doctor or a professional who can help you make the best decision for your individual needs.
Q: Can you take Methadone and Suboxone Together?
A: No, Methadone and Suboxone should not be taken together.
Q: Which is better, Methadone or Suboxone?
A: The answer to this question depends on each individual’s situation. The best way to decide which medication is proper for you is to speak to your doctor or a professional who can help you make the best decision for your individual needs.
Q: Can pregnant women take Methadone or Suboxone?
A: Yes, both Methadone and Suboxone are safe for pregnant women to take.
Q: How long does Methadone stay in your system?
A: Methadone stays in your system for 24 to 36 hours.
Now that we have looked at the difference between Methadone and Suboxone, it is clear that they are both effective at treating opioid addiction. However, depending on your situation and need, it is essential to note which can be better for you. Each substance has specific side effects on the body, which can be disadvantageous, which is why it is always a must to consult with a professional.