Compare Naltrexone vs. Suboxone

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

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Treats alcohol dependence and prevents relapse of addiction to opioids.

Vivitrol (Naltrexone) is good for treating opioid and alcohol dependence. It needs to be used as directed and can't be used with alcohol or opioid pain medications.

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
Upsides
  • Available in two different forms: a tablet you take every day and as a shot your doctor gives you once a month.
  • Good for people who have a mild opioid use disorder and who are highly motivated, or who can be supervised as they take their medication.
  • Can be used with behavior modification therapy to treat opioid or alcohol use disorders.
  • Higher success rates are seen in people who use this under supervision.
  • The tablet is available as a generic.
  • 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.
Downsides
  • People who try to take opioids after taking Vivitrol (Naltrexone) are at risk for opioid overdose and death since it takes a large amount of opioids to overcome the effects of Vivitrol (Naltrexone).
  • You won't be able to use any medications with opioids for pain relief since Vivitrol (Naltrexone) prevents them from working.
  • The shot is only available as brand name only, so it can be expensive.
  • Not a good choice if you have liver problems, depression, or are pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • 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.
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Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Pill
  • Sublingual film
  • Dissolving tablet
Price
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Reviews
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35 reviews so far
80%
saidit'sworth it
66%
saiditworked well
0%
saidit'sa big hassle

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Side effects
9possible side effects
  • Nausea
    10%
  • Headache
    7%
  • Dizziness
    4%
  • Nervousness
    4%
  • Fatigue
    4%
  • Insomnia
    3%
  • Vomiting
    3%
  • Anxiety
    2%
  • Somnolence
    2%
See more detailed side effects
16possible side effects
  • Headache
    36%
  • Withdrawal
    25%
  • Pain
    22%
  • Nausea
    15%
  • Difficulty sleeping
    14%
  • Sweating
    14%
  • Constipation
    12%
  • Stomach pain
    11%
  • Dilation of blood vessels
    9%
  • Chills
    8%
  • Vomiting
    8%
  • Weakness
    7%
  • Infection
    6%
  • Hay fever
    5%
  • Back pain
    4%
  • Diarrhea
    4%
See more detailed side effects
Risks and risk factors
  • Opioid overdose
    • Prior use of opioid medications
    • Use of Vivitrol (Naltrexone)
  • Opioid withdrawal
    • Current use of opioid medications
    • New use of Vivitrol (Naltrexone)
  • Risk to unborn babies
    • Women of childbearing age
    • Breast-feeding while taking Vivitrol (Naltrexone)
  • Liver injury
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