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How long does Buprenex stay in your system?

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jan 23, 2023.

Official answer


The effects of Buprenex (buprenorphine) typically last between six to 12 hours, depending on the route of administration. Buprenex can remain in the body between five to 10 days after administration of the last dose.

Buprenex, a synthetic opioid commonly prescribed for the management of severe pain or for opioid substance abuse, is metabolized by the liver and excreted in the urine and feces. Approximately 10 to 30 percent of a dosage will be excreted through urine, while the majority is excreted within the feces.

Half-life is the time a medication takes to be metabolized within the body to where the concentration is decreased by 50 percent. For the average medication to be completely removed from the body, it takes approximately 5.5 half-lives. To determine the amount of time (in hours) it will take for the body to metabolize and completely remove a medication, multiply the half-life by 5.5.

The half-life of buprenorphine is 24 to 42 hours. Therefore, it would take between 132 hours (24 x 5.5) and 231 hours (42 x 5.5) for buprenorphine to be completely removed from the body in an individual with an appropriately functioning liver.

Buprenex Injection:

  • The onset of effects when administered by intravenous or intramuscular injection begins approximately 15 minutes after administration, with peak plasma effects occurring within two to three minutes after injection. Peak pharmacological effects occur at one hour after injection.
  • Effects of Buprenex administered by injection will typically last for six to eight hours.

Sublingual Buprenex:

  • The onset of effects from sublingual Buprenex occur 30 to 60 minutes after administration.
  • Sublingual peak effects usually occur one to four hours after administration. Lower dosages (less than 4.0 mg) will last between six and 12 hours, while higher dosages (greater than 16.0 mg) can last approximately 24 to 72 hours.

Transdermal Buprenex:

  • A single dose of a transdermal patch can be worn for up to seven consecutive days. After application, the therapeutic level of medication will usually be reached within 12 to 24 hours. Upon removal, the concentration of Buprenex will decrease by 50 percent within approximately 10 to 24 hours.
  1. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Prescribing information: Buprenex (buprenorphine hydrochloride) injection, for intravenous or intramuscular administration, CIII. Available at: [Accessed on January 17, 2021].
  2. What do you mean by the half life of a drug? Available at: [Accessed on January 17, 2021].
  3. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Prescribing information: Butrans (buprenorphine) transdermal system for transdermal administration. Available at: [Accessed on January 17, 2021].
  4. Johnson RE, Fudala PJ, Payne R. 2005 March 1; 29(3):297-326. J Pain Symptom Manage. doi: [Accessed on January 17, 2021].
  5. Khanna IK, Pillarisetti S. Buprenorphine – an attractive opioid with underutilized potential in treatment of chronic pain. J Pain Res. 2015;8:859–870. doi: [Accessed on January 17, 2021].
  6. Davis MP, Paternak G, Behm B. Treating chronic pain: an overview of clinical studies centered on the buprenorphine option. Drugs. 2018 Aug;78(12):1211–1228. doi: [Accessed on January 17, 2021].

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