How Long Does Buprenorphine Show Up In Your System?

How Long Is Buprenorphine in Your System for Drug Tests?

A person can take a lot of buprenorphine and it will work in the body for about 24 to 60 hours. The body can retain enough medication to give a positive drug test result for approximately 7-10 days. The amount of buprenorphine taken and how fast a person’s metabolism is will affect the time it takes to see results.  

Half-life is the time it takes for half a dose of a substance to completely leave the body. Buprenorphine has a half-life between 24 and 42 hours. Naloxone’s half-life is 2 to 12 hours.

Even after Suboxone is removed from the body, trace amounts can still be found. Buprenorphine is metabolized in the liver, and this is where norbuprenorphine is produced. After Suboxone completely leaves a person’s system, norbuprenorphine remains and exits the body through urine over the span of many days or weeks.  

The average time it takes for norbuprenorphine to leave the system is 14 days after Suboxone enters the body. However, this process can vary from one person to another. The time it takes for norbuprenorphine in the system to exit the body will depend on several factors, including liver function, weight, age, weight, frequency of Suboxone usage, and whether or not other medications are being taken with Suboxone. Poor liver function may cause Suboxone to stay in the body for a longer duration.

Every person processes medication differently so doctors need to adjust the dosage for each patient. Buprenorphine can build up over time and some patients may need to start taking it less often or in a smaller amount.  

What you need to know about Buprenorphine Drug Testing

Patients who take buprenorphine as part of their treatment can be confident that they will get positive results. However, it doesn’t show up on all drug tests. Most opioid screenings check for semisynthetic drugs such as morphine that are frequently abused. These screenings look at the chemical structure of drugs. Buprenorphine, a synthetic drug with a different chemical structure, is detected by these screenings. The laboratory that completes the drug test must order a buprenorphine-specific test to find it, but even if you do undergo a BUP drug test, your employer should not hold the results against you.  

Your ADA protections will apply if your employer tests your system for buprenorphine. A buprenorphine prescription is proof that you are legally permitted to use it. You can request additional documentation from the clinic providing your treatment to support your case. Your employer cannot discriminate against you as a buprenorphine user or deny you employment and can only deny you employment if your buprenorphine treatment is dangerous to the workplace.  

Buprenorphine Side Effects & Withdrawal Symptoms

You may experience withdrawal symptoms or side effects depending on whether you take buprenorphine or not. You can be as safe and comfortable as possible if you are under the care of a qualified health professional.

 These side effects are possible with buprenorphine:  

  •  Drowsiness  
  •  Headaches  
  •  Feeling lightheaded  
  •  Feeling dizzy  
  •  Constipation  

You may experience withdrawal symptoms if you stop taking buprenorphine, or you taper off the medication with the help of a healthcare provider. Although they don’t cause any immediate harm, withdrawal symptoms can cause discomfort. 

Buprenorphine withdrawal symptoms include:  

  • Significant mood changes  
  • Trouble falling asleep or staying asleep  
  • Stiffness in the muscles  

These withdrawal symptoms and side effects should not interfere with your everyday function. Talk to your doctor if you experience withdrawal symptoms or side effects as they will know how to help you.

Work With A Trusted Toxicology Expert

Keystone Laboratories, a CAP-accredited North Carolina licensed laboratory and CLIA-licensed lab, is committed to helping you make important decisions that impact the safety and health of your patients with greater confidence. Clients in 48 states can get prescription drug and substance abuse recovery monitoring, specialized testing, workplace drug testing, screening, and program management services from Keystone. Contact Keystone Laboratories today to receive the industry-leading laboratory testing services!

How Long Does Buprenorphine Show Up In Your System?
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