When you take suboxone, it breaks down into its active components, which are called buprenorphine and naloxone. The point of the drug is to get those active components into your system.
This article covers how to get the most out of your suboxone and increase absorption so that more of these good things get into your body and less of the bad things.
It’s written for those who want to know more about how suboxone works in general as well as specific ways to optimize its effects on your body and mind.
Dissolve Your OX in Water
Sublingual (under the tongue) suboxone absorption is best when it’s completely dissolved in water. When you take suboxone orally, it only breaks down into its component parts at about 10-30% depending on its formulation.
In other words, most of it goes through your digestive system intact. The “ox” part of “suboxone” is the “oxymorphone” molecule. The oxymorphone is the part that has pain-relieving properties, which is why suboxone is used to treat pain.
If you only dissolve it in water, the drug breaks down into the oxymorphone, which then has to go through your liver to metabolize into the part that treats pain and the part that treats opioid withdrawal (more on that below).
This means that the liver has to work harder and it might take longer for you to feel the effects.
To get the full effect of suboxone, dissolve it in water and drink it down.
Turn on the Fan
If you’re taking suboxone in any form, dissolve it in water and you’re taking it sublingually, you want as little noise as possible. Sounds are disruptive to the absorption process. Yes, your ears are designed to filter out ambient noise, but even a small amount of background noise can slow or even stop the suboxone absorption process.
To maximize suboxone absorption, turn the fan on, mute the T.V., or wear ear plugs while you’re taking it. Conversely, if you’re taking suboxone that should be taken orally, a bit of background noise can help you stay focused on your work.
Because noise can impact suboxone absorption, take your dose in a quiet place if at all possible.
Healthy eating is key to all things opiate related. It impacts your suboxone efficacy and withdrawal management and it can even impact the way your body metabolizes the drug.
What to eat and what not to eat when taking suboxone is largely a matter of trial and error.
But in general, when you take a drug, you want to eat well because it impacts how your body uses and breaks down the drug.
Eating well is key to getting the most out of your suboxone as well as managing any symptoms of withdrawal you might be experiencing.
It’s also important to eat well when you’re not on any drugs because eating poorly can cause withdrawal symptoms in and of itself.
What to eat while taking suboxone isn’t entirely clear. Ideally, you want to eat foods that slow the metabolism of the drug and lead to a lower peak level in your system.
What types of foods you should eat and how you can best optimize your diet while on suboxone isn’t entirely clear either.
All of this is a matter of trial and error. What you eat and when you eat it can alter the amount of suboxone in your system.
What you eat has an impact on the amount of suboxone in your system.
Taking more suboxone isn’t likely to increase absorption. But it might if you take a sublingual dose and double it by taking another dose sublingually. This brings the sublingual dose up to about twice the normal dose.
If you do this and the normal dose is between 8-16mg, the doubled dose will be around 16-32mg.
While this approach will increase the amount of suboxone in your system and lead to a higher peak level, it comes with the risk of overdose and adverse effects.
Don’t Forget to Shake It
Yes, drugs are chemical compounds, but they can settle and separate out over time. Shake your suboxone bottle or substance before you dose to make sure the contents are mixed up evenly. Taking a dose of suboxone that has settled and separated out will reduce its absorption by as much as 50%.
This can have a significant impact on your dose and lead you to take more than you need simply because you didn’t shake the bottle before you took your dose.
Shaking it before you dose can go a long way toward maximizing suboxone absorption.
Take a Shower
If you have the option to take a warm shower before you take suboxone, this can help improve absorption. The warm water will help your body temperature rise and help stimulate blood flow near the skin.
Taking a shower before you dose can increase suboxone absorption.
Don’t overdo it, though. The warm water won’t be able to overcome the disruption caused by loud noises.
Hold it Under Your Tongue for 20-30 Minutes
When you take suboxone sublingually, it should be held in your mouth for 20-30 minutes. Holding it in your mouth increases suboxone absorption. This means that more of the suboxone is going to be absorbed and less will be excreted.
This is particularly important if you are taking a higher dose than normal (such as double dosing). A higher dose will be more likely to cause it to be excreted in your saliva. If you have a higher dose than normal, make sure you hold it in your mouth longer.
While the suboxone is in your mouth, you may notice your mouth feels “gooey.” This is normal as the suboxone is breaking down and becoming more of a liquid.
Vaping is Coming!
As vaping has become more and more popular, pharmaceutical companies have been looking for ways to utilize the technology. This includes suboxone, which is currently available in Britain and Europe in a sublingual spray form.
The spray is expected to be approved by the FDA in 2020. In the meantime, you can get the sublingual tablets from your doctor and dissolve them in water if you want to use them suboxone.
For the best results, remember to dissolve your OX in water and hold it under your tongue for 20-30 minutes before you start your day.