How Long Does Buprenorphine Stay in Your System?


If you want to work during your opioid addiction recovery, you may wonder if buprenorphine appears on a drug test. Many patients receiving treatment for opioid use disorder take this medication. While buprenorphine counts as an opioid, it doesn’t show in most common drug tests. Discover more about the length of time buprenorphine stays in your system and how it relates to your recovery below.

How Long Does Buprenorphine Stay in Your System for a Drug Test?

When you take an adequate amount of buprenorphine, it can provide results for around 24 to 60 hours. However, enough of it stays in the system to appear on drug tests for seven to 10 days. These times vary depending on the amount taken and the patient’s metabolism. Everyone processes medication differently, so doctors must adjust the amount of medicine for each patient. Buprenorphine also builds up over time, requiring some patients to begin taking it less frequently or at a lower amount.

What to Consider About Buprenorphine and Drug Testing

Since buprenorphine doesn’t show on many drug tests, patients who take it don’t always have to worry about positive results. Most opioid screenings look for semisynthetic opiates like morphine that have high rates of abuse. They detect the presence of drugs through their chemical structures. As a synthetic opioid, buprenorphine has a different chemical makeup. The laboratory completing the screening must request a buprenorphine-specific test to find it.

In the situation that your employer tests for buprenorphine, you still have protection under the ADA. Your buprenorphine prescription serves as legal proof that you have the right to take it. The clinic where you get treatment can also help you provide more documentation to make your case. Unless an employer has a justified reason, they can’t deny you work based on your status as a buprenorphine patient. They can only refuse if they can argue that treatment would get in the way of workplace safety.

Buprenorphine Side Effects and Withdrawal Symptoms

As buprenorphine enters and exits your system, you may go through side effects or withdrawal symptoms. When you take it under a doctor’s supervision, you can stay as safe and comfortable as possible. With the right treatment plan, you should not show visible signs of taking buprenorphine. The side effects of the medication include:

  • Headache
  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Lightheadedness
  • Constipation

You may experience withdrawal symptoms if you stop taking buprenorphine or taper down with a doctor’s help. These issues don’t cause immediate harm, but they feel uncomfortable. Buprenorphine withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Severe mood changes
  • Muscle stiffness
  • Sleeping problems

These side effects and withdrawal symptoms should not impair your everyday function. If you have difficulty handling them, ask your doctor about changing how you take your medicine or how much of it you take.

Get Buprenorphine MAT at BAART Programs

BAART Programs offers comprehensive MAT programs with buprenorphine. The MAT model lets you relieve withdrawal symptoms with medication while working on your recovery goals. If you want to start a new life without opioids, we welcome you to make an appointment by contacting us.