Methadone vs Suboxone: What is the Difference?

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If you are looking into opioid treatment programs, you may be wondering what is the difference between Methadone versus Suboxone as a form of medication used to treat addiction. Here is a quick look at how the two are the same as well as how they are different.


Both Methadone and Suboxone are opioids, but while Methadone is used to treat both chronic pain and opioid addiction, Suboxone is used only to treat opioid dependence. 

Drug Classification

Both Methadone and Suboxone are considered to be controlled substances. While Methadone is a Schedule II controlled substance, Suboxone is a Schedule III controlled substance. This means that both come with the risk of withdrawal as well as a risk of misuse. By definition, Schedule II drugs have a higher potential for addiction than Schedule III drugs. 


Methadone is actually the generic name for a drug that is also available under the brand names of Dolophine, Methadone HCl Intensol and Methadose. Suboxone, on the other hand, is a brand name for the generic medication known as buprenorphine-naloxone. Other brand names for this drug incude Bunavail and Zubsolv.

Available Forms

Methadone is available in a variety of different forms. These include oral tablet, oral solution, oral concentrate, injectable solution and oral dispersible tablet, which means it has to be dissolved in a liquid before it can be taken. 

The brand name medication known as Suboxone comes in an oral film. This film can be dissolved under the tongue or placed between the cheek and gums in order to dissolve. Generic versions of the drug are available as both an oral film and as a sublingual tablet.

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