Subutex is a prescription medication whose active ingredient is buprenorphine. It’s primarily utilized in the treatment of opioid dependence and is designed to reduce the symptoms of opioid withdrawal and decrease the cravings for opioids.
Buprenorphine, the main component of Subutex, is a partial opioid agonist. This means that it binds to the same receptors in the brain as other opioids but activates them to a lesser degree. This partial activation helps to alleviate withdrawal symptoms and cravings without producing the same intense euphoria or respiratory depression that full agonists, like heroin or oxycodone, might.
Subutex is typically administered as a sublingual tablet, which means it is placed under the tongue to dissolve. It is one of the medications approved for medication-assisted treatment (MAT) of opioid addiction, often used in the initial stages of treatment before transitioning to other buprenorphine products that also contain naloxone (an opioid antagonist) to prevent potential misuse.