Methadone vs Suboxone: Difference and Comparison

Chronic pain tends to be the time of pain that lasts for a long time. Methadone and Suboxone are both opioids, which are a kind of strong medication that is mostly prescribed to help relieve such chronic pain.

One must be careful because even though they are efficacious, such medications can also develop a habit that will further lead to addiction or too much depiction whenever in pain. Methadone and suboxone are both very effective painkillers.

Key Takeaways

  1. Methadone is a full opioid agonist, while Suboxone contains a partial opioid agonist (buprenorphine) and an opioid antagonist (naloxone).
  2. Suboxone reduces the risk of overdose and abuse due to the presence of naloxone.
  3. Methadone requires daily visits to a clinic, whereas Suboxone offers more flexible treatment options, including at-home prescriptions.

Methadone vs Suboxone

Methadone is a strong medication that treats opioid addiction and chronic pain. It comes in the form of tablets or a solution that acts as a painkiller. Suboxone is an approved medication used to treat opioid use disorder. Its side effects may include vomiting, headaches and dizziness.

Methadone vs

Methadone comes with a lot of benefits to relieve chronic pain. The effects of methadone are gradual and mild, which results in making this drug a safer replacement for opioids of abuse during treatment.

Methadone is available in the form of an oral tablet and solution, sometimes oral concentration with injections, which help in relieving the dependence. Dependence means when your body physically adapts to a drug and can tolerate it.

Suboxone comes as an oral film, which is a synthetic opioid. It was created with the primary purpose of helping to fight addiction, and proposed its generic name, buprenorphine-naloxone, as it has a ratio of 8:2 each.

The main purpose is to block the effects of opioids, which are taken for chronic pain but end up developing dependence.

Comparison Table

Parameters of Comparison Methadone Suboxone 
Generic Name The generic name of methadone is methadone. The generic name of suboxone is buprenorphine-naloxone
Brand Name Dolophine, Methadone HCl Intensol, Methadose are the brand names of methadone. Suboxone, Bunavail, Zubsolv are the brand name. 
Treats whatChronic pain and opioid addiction are treated by methadone.Opioid dependence is treated by Suboxone.
ApprovedEven though methadone helps in releasing opioid addiction but it is not an approved medication. Suboxone is an approved and prescribed medication to deal with opioid dependence. 
Side EffectsSide effects of methadone are drowsiness, irregular heartbeat, seizures, etc. Side effects of suboxone are headache, insomnia, vomiting, etc. 

What is Methadone? 

Methadone has the generic name of methadone and comes in the form of oral tablets, oral solutions, etc. Usually, methadone has effects that are usual and mild.

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A safe replacement of the drug in place for other opioids of abuse is created during the treatment. However, methadone is only approved to treat chronic pain and get relief, and that is why it is available at some pharmacies but not all.

Methadone is said to occupy the opioid receptor, which extends sites in the brain. This incident prevented people taking it from coming into contact with other opioids, such as heroin.

Moreover, the sudden onset of uncomfortable opioid withdrawal symptoms, including nausea and vomiting, will eventually help stop them.

Once a withdrawal is managed, it allows users to focus on the development of therapeutic motivation for addiction treatment.

It also addresses any underlying issues that might lead to their misuse of opioids. This eventuality is why methadone is known as a complete opioid agonist.

The meaning of methadone being an agonist of opioids means that it will bind to the opioid receptors inside the brain and then activate it. This issue only produces a chemical reaction, making users vulnerable to dependence.


What is Suboxone?

Suboxone is like methadone and is categorized as a synthetic opioid. Many similar drugs have been made to relieve pain directly in the first place, but unlike them, suboxone is used first to control dependence.

This fact is because it was discovered later to have an effect in regard to opioid dependence. Hence, Suboxone was created with the main implementing goal to help fight addiction for users and not just the pain.

Suboxone has a generic name, buprenorphine-naloxone, which is why the drug is made with 80 percent buprenorphine and 20 percent naloxone. It also has a partial opioid agonist, which makes Suboxone block the effects of opioids.

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It works in a strategic way, and here is how. When one takes the Suboxone, buprenorphine, it ties to the effector inside the brain and activates them. This is done only to relieve withdrawal symptoms.

The naloxone, on the other hand, slabs the effect of opioids and helps in keeping the body from reminiscing any high effects.

This is why certain studies show that Suboxone is said to have a positive effect on the lives of users who are recovering from opioid addiction. It is, therefore, believed that Suboxone plays an integral role in keeping those users away from opioid abuse.

Main Differences Between Methadone and Suboxone

  1. Methadone has a generic name known as Methadone itself, which is a name derivation. On the other hand, Suboxone has a generic name known as buprenorphine-naloxone.
  2. Methadone is known to treat chronic pain and opioid addiction but is not always a prescribed medication. Suboxone is known to treat opioid dependence and is an approved medication.
  3. Methadone is an effective painkiller to deal with addiction, whereas Suboxone is a synthetic opioid.
  4. Some of the side effects of methadone are drowsiness, sexual impotence, seizures, and irregular heartbeat, whereas some of the side effects of Suboxone are vomiting, headache, dizziness, etc.
  5. Dolphin and Methadose are the brand names of methadone, while Suboxone has brand names such as Zubslov.
Difference Between Methadone and

Last Updated : 23 August, 2023

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18 thoughts on “Methadone vs Suboxone: Difference and Comparison”

  1. I appreciate the objective comparison between methadone and suboxone in this article. The information about their availability, side effects, and approved uses is very helpful for individuals seeking treatment for chronic pain or opioid addiction.

    • The article’s emphasis on the importance of supervised treatment with methadone and the flexibility offered by suboxone in the management of opioid dependence is commendable.

  2. This article provides a comprehensive comparison of methadone and suboxone. It’s crucial to highlight the potential side effects and risks associated with these medications to ensure informed decision-making by patients.

    • The detailed comparison table and informative sections about methadone and suboxone are invaluable in understanding their respective mechanisms of action and therapeutic uses.

    • Absolutely, Hunter. It’s essential for patients to understand the benefits and risks before undergoing treatment with these opioids.

  3. The detailed descriptions of methadone and suboxone in this article offer readers a comprehensive understanding of their roles in addressing chronic pain and opioid dependence. It’s commendable to see such thorough coverage of these critical topics.

    • Indeed, Isabella. The article enriches readers with valuable insights into the potential benefits and risks associated with methadone and suboxone, fostering informed discussions about their utilization.

    • Absolutely, the clarity and depth of information in the article greatly contribute to a nuanced comprehension of methadone and suboxone, promoting informed healthcare decisions.

  4. While methadone and suboxone have distinct mechanisms of action and therapeutic uses, this article effectively outlines their roles in treating chronic pain and opioid dependence. It’s important for readers to understand the nuances of these medications before initiating treatment.

    • The comparisons provided in the article are highly informative and offer readers valuable insights into the potential side effects and benefits of methadone and suboxone.

    • Agreed, the detailed comparison table provides a clear overview of the differences between methadone and suboxone, allowing readers to make informed decisions about their treatment options.

  5. The article’s emphasis on the differences in the approved uses and side effects of methadone and suboxone promotes informed decision-making and patient autonomy. This level of detail is truly beneficial for individuals considering opioid therapy.

    • Absolutely, Lisa. The comprehensive information presented in this article enhances patient awareness and knowledge about opioid medications and their treatment implications.

  6. The article effectively communicates the differences in benefits and potential risks between methadone and suboxone. It provides a balanced view of both medications, enabling readers to weigh their options responsibly.

    • I agree, it’s refreshing to come across an article that presents such critical information about opioid medications with clarity and objectivity.

  7. This article raises important considerations about therapeutic motivations and dependence in the context of opioid medications. The contents are highly thought-provoking and insightful.

    • Intriguing insights, Paul. The article effectively highlights the significance of addressing underlying issues in addiction treatment, contributing to a comprehensive understanding of methadone and suboxone use.


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