Compare methadone vs. Suboxone

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

Treats severe pain or drug dependence.

Methadose (methadone) is a cheap and effective treatment for severe chronic pain, but has serious risks for fatal overdose and drug dependence.

Treats opioid addiction.

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.

4.0/ 5 average rating with 35 reviewsforSuboxone
  • Available as a cheap, generic version.
  • One of the stronger opioid medicines for treatment of severe pain.
  • Can also be used to treat opioid dependence as part of a complete recovery program.
  • Suboxone (buprenorphine / naloxone) 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.
  • Suboxone (buprenorphine / naloxone) has fewer side effects and drug interactions compared to other similar medicines.
  • Methadose (methadone) can cause slowed breathing, coma, and death from overdose, especially if mixed with alcohol, sleeping pills, or muscle relaxants.
  • Constipation is a common side effect of Methadose (methadone) and you might need laxatives or stool softeners.
  • Not a good option for short-term pain relief.
  • Suboxone (buprenorphine / naloxone) is 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 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.
  • The film may not be appropriate for you if you have lung disease.
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Dissolving tablet
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Sublingual film
  • Dissolving tablet
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Side effects
The Methadose (methadone) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
16possible side effects
  • Headache
  • Withdrawal
  • Pain
  • Nausea
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Sweating
  • Constipation
  • Stomach pain
  • Dilation of blood vessels
  • Chills
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness
  • Infection
  • Hay fever
  • Back pain
  • Diarrhea
See more detailed side effects
Risks and risk factors
  • Death from lack of oxygen to the body (respiratory depression)
    • Start of treatment
    • Age 65 or greater
    • Dose changes and higher doses
  • Heart problems (arrhythmia)
    • History of cardiovascular disease
  • Driving impairment
    • Taking Methadose (methadone) with alcohol
    • Taking other medicines that make you less alert
  • Death from overdose
    • Children age 18 and younger
    • Taking more than prescribed dose
    • Mixing with alcohol or drugs that interact with Methadose (methadone)
  • Abuse, tolerance, and addiction
    • Taking more than the prescribed dose
    • Long-term use
    • History of drug abuse or mental illness
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Low blood pressure
    • Cardiovascular disease
    • dehydration
    • taking drugs that lower blood pressure
  • Liver failure
    • Liver disease
    • Hepatitis B and C
    • Taking Suboxone (buprenorphine / naloxone) with other drugs that cause liver damage
  • Severe allergic reactions
  • Respiratory depression
    • Taking with alcohol or other drugs that slow the nervous system
    • Lung disease
  • Unintentional child exposure
  • Driving impairment
    • Taking with alcohol
    • Taking other medicines that make you less alert
See more detailed risks and warnings