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PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2015 9:31 pm 
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I've searched for hours but cannot find a clear distinct answer. Hoping maybe the doc himself could weight in.

Does the potency of suboxone degrade with time? At what rate?

I have suboxone from 4 years ago. I saved it for any future emergency. I relapsed and my habit became very large very fast. I've been taking the suboxone for the past 3 days, but it's not working as well as I expected it too. I was on suboxone for 2 years so I feel I have a good understanding of the substance. Maybe my tolerance was just too high this time around but the suboxone is not holding me like I expected. Has it lost some potency maybe? It's definitely helping/working but.. man! I remember sub being more effective than this.

Not that this bit matters because we are all different and react differently, but if you are wondering my habit got up to around 200mg oxy a day. I've taken 4mg two days ago and 8mg yesterday. Today I've had 5.5mg. I am also taking *very small* doses of benzos (.25mg Xanax/day). Now I wouldn't expect this does of sub to obliterate all withdrawal but I didn't expect to be kicking awake the last 2 nights. I know I can up the dose but would rather try to keep it as low as possible because I want to do a fast taper and OFF! But I want to track my progress accurately. If 2mg of 4year old sub = 1mg new sub, then I wouldn't have a problem taking more suboxone to eliminate the symptoms im having. But this is all off track and irrelevant. The thread is only concerned with the original posed question, which is: does suboxone lose potency when it gets old (+4years).

NOTE: the medicine was kept in a ziplock bag, room temperature, away from sunlight

PS Thank you to anyone that can help shed some light on this. I'm going through an intense time. This information would help me feel slightly more competent and responsible.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2015 7:12 pm 
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I know you wanted the Dr. to answer but I have been taking "expired" subutex for a long time now and it is just as potent as the day I bought it. The ones I'm taking are dated from 2012-2013 because I saved a big amount of extras from every rx and now I havent had to buy any from the pharmacy for years. If they somehow get exposed to moisture or heat I'd imagine they could degrade but I store mine inside an air tight tupperware container set inside another larger airtight container and in a cool dark place and my guess is they would still be effective a hundred years from now if they stayed in those conditions.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2015 7:30 pm 
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Oh, I'm not exclusively wanting Dr Junig to weigh in, but that would be awesome. Over the years I've really come to respect his knowledge, honesty and genuinity. This is my real username. I made the other one last night because I couldn't remember my password.

Thanks for sharing your experience buprecision. That information is most useful :)

After getting through work today I believe most of the preceived "weakness" of the medicine was due to a rough transition/detox period. This is day 4. I've taken 2mg this morning at 7:30a, and I'm still "okay". Started feel **slight** withdrawal about an hour ago. Nothing major. Going to try to get away with just 1 more mg tonight (3mg/today). We will see. If that's the case, then I think the medicine is still quite potent.

I believe a big issue with suboxone is that it is far too common for people to take way more than is needed for far too long. The first couple/few days I understand a big does may be needed, at least I speculating that's what I was missing. But soon after that initial dose (within a month) I really see no reason *most* people couldn't be on 2-4mg a day and stay there for years if need be or drop more (which can start to hurt, I know). I also may have started the sub soon than I should have. Correction, I did. I went into precipitated withdrawal for about 4-6 hours. It didn't get completely better for about 12hr and then the next two days were rough. But, I was definitely in withdrawal when I took it, just not incapacitating withdrawal. I was at work which made the anxiety worse. I jumped the gun and took some sub at lunch time. Ugh, the rest was history. Thank goodness I had some comfort meds.

Anyways. I am still curious about the question at hand. I know there isn't good, solid information o this topic "easily accessible online". I searched. A lot. So if anyone has anything else to contribute please don't hesitate. And of course, by all means, if he still frequents the boards (I haven't been here in a while) I would love it if Dr J. could give his opinion. Even if he isn't certain, a hypothesis would be greatly appreciated as well :)

Thanks to all and anyone that has something to share.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2015 10:41 pm 
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I just realized this thread may be better suited for the Q&A section of the forum. If a moderator sees fit, please feel free to move it. Thank you.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2015 12:00 am 
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Wow. This forum really isn't as active as it once was. That's a shame. I got so much great information and support on this site. I just wanted to reply to this thread in case someone finds it seeking the same information. I think suboxone keeps its potency over time. Upon reflection, the transition was rough but after the first 3 days 2 mg was sufficient to hold me. And that means it definitely still had potency. Though, those three days were rather grueling. My tolerance had to come down in order for the sub to be effective, but once it did the sub worked quite well.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2015 6:49 am 
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Thank you for coming back & letting us know your finding! There are times the forum is pretty slow. Glad to hear you are doing well


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Fond Du Lac Psychiatry
Dr. Jeffrey Junig, M.D., Ph.D.

  • Board Certified Psychiatrist
  • Asst Clinical Professor, Medical College of Wisconsin

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