Compare Suboxone vs. fentanyl

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

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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
Treats severe pain.

Duragesic (fentanyl) is an excellent pain reliever, but should only be used by people who've tried other opioid pain medications and still need more relief.

4.2/ 5 average rating with 84 reviewsforfentanyl
Upsides
  • 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.
  • Duragesic (fentanyl) is stronger than morphine, works quickly, and doesn't cause as many stomach problems.
  • It's available in many dosage forms, including a patch, injection, film, nasal spray, and lollipop.
  • The Duragesic (fentanyl) patch provides long-term pain relief and lowers the number of times you need to take pain medications each day.
Downsides
  • 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.
  • Duragesic (fentanyl) isn't for everyone. It's a really strong pain medication and taking too much can be deadly.
  • The patch doesn't provide quick pain relief.
  • Often causes drowsiness and constipation. If taking long-term, use a stool softener.
  • Shouldn't be used by people with breathing problems (like asthma and COPD), a slow heart rate, or are elderly.
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Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Sublingual film
  • Dissolving tablet
  • Patch
  • Dissolving tablet
  • Mouth spray
  • Lozenge
  • Buccal tablet
  • Nasal spray
Price
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Reviews
35 reviews so far
80%
saidit'sworth it
66%
saiditworked well
0%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Suboxone (buprenorphine / naloxone)?

Leave a review
84 reviews so far
79%
saidit'sworth it
70%
saiditworked well
14%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Duragesic (fentanyl)?

Leave a review
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
34possible side effects
  • Vomiting
    34%
  • Nausea
    24%
  • Dizziness
    17%
  • Drowsiness
    17%
  • Headache
    16%
  • Constipation
    13%
  • Diarrhea
    13%
  • Itchy skin
    13%
  • Weakness
    9%
  • Abdominal pain
    9%
  • Difficulty sleeping
    6%
  • Rash
    6%
  • Swelling in the limbs
    5%
  • Confusion
    4%
  • Difficulty breathing
    4%
  • Upper abdominal pain
    4%
  • Loss of appetite
    4%
  • Anxiety
    4%
  • Tremor
    3%
  • Hypersensitivity
    3%
  • Urinary retention
    3%
  • Sweating
    3%
  • Accidental injury
    2%
  • Abnormal gait
    2%
  • Dry mouth
    2%
  • Nervousness
    2%
  • Dilation of blood vessels
    2%
  • Abnormal vision
    2%
  • Burning/pricking sensation
    2%
  • Confusional state
    2%
  • Fatigue
    2%
  • Muscle spasms
    2%
  • Depression
    2%
  • Hallucination
    2%
See more detailed side effects
Risks and risk factors
  • 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
  • Slowed breathing (respiratory depression)
    • Taking other medicines that interact with Duragesic (fentanyl)
    • Age 65 or greater
    • Taking benzodiazepines, other opioids, and/or alcohol
    • Asthma or COPD
  • Death from overdose
    • Children age 18 and younger
  • Death in newborn babies from opioid withdrawal
    • Long-term use of Duragesic (fentanyl) during pregnancy
  • Tolerance, dependence, and addiction
    • Taking more than the prescribed dose
    • Long-term use
    • History of drug abuse
  • Driving impairment
    • Taking with alcohol
    • Taking other medicines that make you less alert
    • Age 65 or greater
  • Medication errors
See more detailed risks and warnings