What’s the difference between methadone, Subutex and Suboxone?

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Subutex is the trade name for ‘Buprenorphine’, which was introduced in Australia in 2001 as an alternative option to methadone. Providing opiate like pain relief it acts like methadone while at the same time also blocking opiate receptor sites like naltrexone does. Subutex has some advantages compared to methadone. Firstly it can be taken by most people every second day rather than daily which gives the person more freedom. Secondly, it is safer as there have been no reported deaths from overdose that can be attributed to it alone. Thirdly, it produces a lower level of physical dependence than methadone, which means that withdrawal symptoms are milder than with methadone. Possible side affects are similar to methadone and include nausea, headaches, insomnia, sweating and drowsiness. Other opiates have less effect when Subutex has already been used. Overseas research has found that Subutex has about the same effect as methadone as a maintenance medication in reducing illicit opiate ... more
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