Suboxone is a prescription medication used in the treatment of opioid use disorder. It is beneficial for treating withdrawal symptoms in the early stages of treatment and for preventing relapse while patients participate in counseling and other services on an ongoing basis. Buprenorphine, the main drug in Suboxone, reduces symptoms of craving and withdrawal by activating the same brain receptors that opioids occupy.
While Suboxone is effective, patients may eventually decide that it’s time to stop taking the drug. When you and your healthcare provider determine that you’re ready to come off of this medication, a Suboxone taper can help you to discontinue your use. Tapering off Suboxone on an appropriate schedule can prevent you from experiencing extreme withdrawal symptoms.
Suboxone Taper: What Is It?
Quitting Suboxone can be challenging, because although it is a prescription medication, the body can develop a dependence upon it. This means that you become used to the presence of the drug, and if you abruptly stop using it, your body will go through Suboxone withdrawal.
A Suboxone taper makes symptoms of withdrawal more manageable, because it involves gradually reducing your dose of the drug. Instead of stopping Suboxone cold turkey, you lower your dose over time so that the body can adapt. Weaning off Suboxone in this way means that your body will get used to having less and less Suboxone, so withdrawal symptoms are less severe.
What Is The Best Way to Taper Off Suboxone?
There are different methods of Suboxone weaning, and the best strategy will depend upon each patient’s unique needs and preferences. Some patients will prefer a quick Suboxone taper plan, whereas others may benefit from tapering off Suboxone more slowly. Your Suboxone doctor can help you to develop a Suboxone detox schedule that works for you.
People often wonder about the best way to get off Suboxone, so researchers have conducted studies to determine the answer. A study that evaluated the firsthand experiences of people getting off Suboxone found that they tended to be more successful with a longer buprenorphine taper schedule. Patients in the study reported an average Suboxone taper of 95 days.
On the other hand, a clinical study supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse found that patients who completed a 7-day Suboxone detox were more likely to be opioid-free at the end of the Suboxone taper when compared to those on a 28-day schedule. Despite this fact, withdrawal symptoms were higher among those on the 7-day compared to the 28-day Suboxone wean at a one-month follow-up point.
What can be concluded from these results is that there are multiple Suboxone taper regimens that can be effective. Some patients do better with a shorter tapering schedule, whereas others have better outcomes with a longer, slower Suboxone wean. Ultimately, the best method of quitting Suboxone is one that will keep you as comfortable as possible without leading to a relapse. It’s critical to consult with your physician about the best tapering schedule.
Standard Dosing Guide for Suboxone Taper
Your plan for tapering off Suboxone will depend upon the dose of the medication you have been taking, as well as the length of the taper you and your doctor decide upon. Below are recommended tapering guides for various Suboxone doses. As indicated in the charts, a short Suboxone taper may last for just 7 days, whereas a longer Suboxone wean may be 28 days.
7-Day Suboxone Detox Schedule
28-Day Suboxone Detox Schedule
Keep in mind that the charts above are just a guideline. If you’re looking for advice on how to stop taking Suboxone, it is important to consult with your Suboxone doctor to determine a tapering schedule that meets your needs.