Which Is Better For Addiction Recovery: Suboxone Or Methadone?

Many people who become addicted to opiates or heroin need treatment and some kind of medication to help them get their life back on track. Both Suboxone and Methadone have helped countless people overcome the challenges that are associated with addiction, but which one is the better choice?

This article will take a look at both medications to see how they differ and how they compare in terms of effectiveness, side effects, how they are taken and more so that you can make an informed decision as you work toward recovery from your addiction.

Suboxone vs. Methadone Explained

Methadone is considered to be a more traditional treatment for opiate addiction. It works by targeting the same receptors in the brain as heroin does, but it doesn’t have any of the euphoric effects that opiates typically do.

Suboxone, on the other hand, contains both buprenorphine (a partial opioid agonist) and naloxone (an opioid antagonist). The naloxone blocks any potential euphoria that might come from using buprenorphine.

What are the Similarities Between the Two Drugs?

Both drugs are used to treat opioid addiction. They can both help you avoid withdrawal symptoms when trying to detox from opioids, but they work in different ways. Methadone blocks the opioid receptors in your body, while Suboxone binds to them.

Methadone is one of the most commonly used medications for treating opioid addiction. It can be used for both in-patient and outpatient settings. Methadone works by reducing cravings, blocking withdrawal symptoms, or helping to control drug use. Suboxone, on the other hand, contains buprenorphine which attaches to the same receptors as heroin but with a weaker effect.

What are the Differences Between the Two Drugs?

The main difference between the two drugs comes down to how long they last. When taken orally, methadone lasts up to 24 hours, while Suboxone only lasts 8-12 hours when taken orally. Methadone has a longer half-life than Suboxone, meaning that it stays in your system for a longer period of time.

Side effects of Suboxone vs Methadone

Both drugs have risks associated with their use – methadone can be lethal if not taken correctly, and Suboxone can lead to dependency if not used correctly or prescribed for too long.

Suboxone Side effects

  • Headache
  • Depression
  • Vomiting
  • Anxiety
  • Stomach pain
  • Insomnia

Methadone Side effects

  • Headache
  • Dry mouth
  • Weight gain
  • Itchy Skin
  • Constipation

Can you take Methadone and Suboxone Together?

There is a short and precise answer to this question: no. In addition to putting you at greater risk for overdosing, taking these two medications together is extremely dangerous.

Furthermore, if you add Suboxone to existing methadone treatment, you may experience withdrawal symptoms such as:

  • Watery eyes
  • Fever
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Body aches
  • Mood disorder
  • Sweating


So in the end, perhaps it truly is up to the individual to decide which approach to take. There is no right or wrong answer—only subjective ones with pros and cons specific to each person. Thus, when choosing between them let your doctor decide which works best for you.