Compare Suboxone vs. naloxone

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Suboxone
(buprenorphine / naloxone)

Narcan
(naloxone)

Treats drug dependence. Suboxone (Buprenorphine / Naloxone) works well to reduce cravings and treat opioid dependence. It's most effective if you have an addiction to heroin or short-acting-opioids.Helps people breathe during an opioid overdose. Narcan (naloxone) is used in an emergency if you think someone has overdosed on opioids. It only works for a few minutes and you'll need to call for emergency help.
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Coupons for Suboxone
Best available price for 14 (8mg/2mg) sublinguals of buprenorphine-naloxone
Coupons for naloxone
Best available price for 1 (1ml of 0.4mg/ml) syringe of naloxone
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
5.57Suboxone
Reviews for Suboxone
80%
of people (All ages) say Suboxone is worth it
66%
say it works well
0%
say it's a big hassle
Have you used Suboxone (buprenorphine / naloxone)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it

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Have you used Narcan (naloxone)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
Suboxonenaloxone
  • Headache 14%
  • Pain 3%
  • Nausea 4%
  • Sweating 4%
  • Constipation 9%
  • Pain abdomen 4%
  • Widening of blood vessels 2%
More Suboxone side effects »

The naloxone FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about naloxone side effects »
How it works
Suboxonenaloxone
Suboxone (Buprenorphine / Naloxone) is a combination medicine with two parts that work together to treat opioid dependence. Buprenorphine is an opioid pain reliever (similar to morphine). Naloxone mildly counteracts the pain reliever, so it's added to prevent overuse or abuse of this medication.Narcan (naloxone) works by reversing the action of opioids. People who overdose on opioids can have problems breathing.
Type of medication
Suboxonenaloxone
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
Suboxonenaloxone
  • Pill
  • Sublingual film
  • Dissolving tablet
  • Injection
Used for
Suboxonenaloxone
  • Opioid Overdose
Risk factors for serious side effects
Suboxonenaloxone
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • dehydration
  • taking drugs that lower blood pressure
  • Liver disease
  • Hepatitis B and C
Detailed Suboxone (buprenorphine / naloxone) risks & warnings »
  • Regular use of opioids
  • History of heart problems
  • Taking medications that affect the heart
  • History of seizures
  • Meperidine use
Detailed Narcan (naloxone) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

Interactions
Suboxonenaloxone
  • Fewer side effects and drug interactions compared to other similar medicines.
No interactions related info.
Alcohol
Suboxonenaloxone
  • Don't mix with alcohol or other sedating drugs.
No alcohol related info.
Food
Suboxonenaloxone
  • Some medicines can affect enzymes that break down Suboxone (Buprenorphine / Naloxone). Certain drugs to treat infections, HIV, and seizures can change the amount of Suboxone (Buprenorphine / Naloxone) in the body. Tell your doctor about any medications you are taking and if you notice muscle aches, restlessness, anxiety, tearing eyes, runny nose, excessive sweating, yawning or inability to sleep. These may be symptoms of withdrawal.
No food related info.
Pain
Suboxonenaloxone
  • The film can cause reduced sensation in your mouth, painful burning tongue, or burning mouth syndrome.
No pain related info.
Sleep
Suboxonenaloxone
  • Can make you drowsy and dizzy.
No sleep related info.
Upsides and benefits
Suboxonenaloxone
  • Effective at preventing abuse or misuse in people who are addicted to opioids. Works best for people addicted to short-acting opioids or heroin.
  • Your doctor can adjust the dose to a level that controls withdrawal symptoms until you're stable. Studies show the right dose depends on the person and how the drug works for them.
  • Fewer side effects and drug interactions compared to other similar medicines.
  • Can help save the life of someone who has overdosed on opioid drugs.
  • One brand of Narcan (naloxone) comes as a take-home auto-injection system with voice directions that talk you through giving Narcan (naloxone) in an emergency situation.
Downsides and risks
Suboxonenaloxone
  • Not as good for people who are dependent on long-acting opioids or Methadone because of the risk of a long withdrawal.
  • Like all opioids, it can cause slowed breathing, coma, and death from overdose, especially if you mix with other nervous system depressants like pain medicine or alcohol.
  • You have to be very careful with your dose. Changing the size or strength of a film can affect the amount of drug absorbed into your body, and could cause under- or over-dosing.
  • The film can cause reduced sensation in your mouth, painful burning tongue, or burning mouth syndrome.
  • Narcan (naloxone) is to be given right away and does not take the place of emergency medical care. Get emergency medical help right away after the first dose, even if the person wakes up.
  • Repeat dosing of Narcan (naloxone) may be required in some cases where the opioid hangs around in the body for a long time.
  • Narcan (naloxone) can cause acute withdrawal symptoms (body aches, anxiety, sweating, vomiting, fast breathing, shivering) if the person has been using opioids regularly.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
Suboxonenaloxone
  • A doctor should supervise your use of this medication as part of a complete treatment program.
  • Can make you drowsy and dizzy.
  • Avoid activities that need you to be fully alert until you know how it affects you.
  • Suboxone film and Zubsolv tablets have different dosing. Be careful.
  • Don't mix with alcohol or other sedating drugs.
  • Drink water before putting the film under your tongue.
  • Don't cut, chew or swallow the film.
  • If you need to stop taking it, work with your doctor to slowly lower your dose. It'll help you avoid withdrawal symptoms.
  • Get emergency help right away after giving the first dose of Narcan (naloxone).
  • The signs and symptoms of an opioid emergency can return after Narcan (naloxone) is given. If this happens, give another dose after 2 to 3 minutes and watch the person closely until emergency help arrives.
  • Family and friends should know where Narcan (naloxone) is stored and know how to give it in case of an emergency.
  • It's important to check the expiration date of Narcan (naloxone) and to protect it from light if it is not stored in its box.
  • Family and friends should be able to recognize the signs and symptoms of an opioid overdose (unusual sleepiness, trouble breathing, small pupils, slow pulse).
Learn more
More about SuboxoneSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Suboxone (buprenorphine / naloxone)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about naloxoneSide effectsFDA package insert
Have you used Narcan (naloxone)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it