Can You Take Suboxone If You Are Allergic To Buprenorphine?

The pharmacist discusses whether or not it is safe to take Suboxone if you are allergic to buprenorphine.

May 17, 2018

Jackie asked

If I'm allergic to Suboxone (my mouth swells up) then should I not take buprenorphine?


Suboxone (buprenorphine and naloxone) is used in the treatment of opioid dependence. It contains two drugs, buprenorphine, a mixed agonist-antagonist narcotic opioid pain reliever and Naloxone, an opioid antagonist used in the treatment of overdoses.

Since one of the drugs in Suboxone is buprenorphine, it would not be recommended to take it when you have a reaction to Suboxone. Make sure your doctor, or other health care provider, is aware of this reaction to Suboxone. Below is some general information on the two drugs found in Suboxone,


Buprenorphine is an opioid pain reliever and opioid antagonist. It has been used in the treatment of opioid dependence and pain relief. Patients should take the drug as prescribed by the doctor. This drug can cause life threatening breathing problems if taken incorrectly. If any problems with breathing are experienced patients should call their doctor or 911 immediately.

For patients on this medication for a while, withdrawal symptoms are possible if the drug is abruptly discontinued. Stopping the medication should be done under the care of the doctor or other health care provider.

Buprenorphine is available in several dosage forms including a buccal film, subcutaneous implant, weekly patch, injection and sublingual tablet. It is important to know which dosage form you have been prescribed and how to appropriately use it. Your local pharmacist is an excellent source of information if you have any questions on how to use the dosage form properly. Patients with children should be careful to keep this and all drugs out of the reach of children. One accidental exposure to this drug can be fatal to children.

Patients also should be aware of the interaction with benzodiazepines, like alprazolam or diazepam for example, or other CNS depressants, like alcohol. Taking buprenorphine with these drugs may result in severe sedation, respiratory depression, coma or even death. Make sure your doctor or other health care provider is aware of all the drugs, even OTC drugs, you take.

Questions about whether or not an OTC drug is safe to take with this drug should be directed to your local pharmacist, doctor or other health care provider.


Naloxone is an opioid antagonist used in the treatment of an opioid overdose or to combat the effects of respiratory depression caused by an opioid. Since naloxone is an opioid antagonist, it will fill opioid receptors and prevent an opioid from working.

Patients on naloxone will experience withdrawal symptoms if an opioid is taken since naloxone is blocking all the opioid receptors. In Suboxone, the small amount of naloxone present discourages patients from getting high due to the risk of going into withdrawal. The buprenorphine fills up enough of the opioid receptors without causing the euphoria that a drug like Heroin can.


Suboxone contains both buprenorphine and naloxone. It would not be recommended to take buprenorphine when experiencing a reaction of mouth swelling with suboxone. Further discussion is warranted with your doctor or other health care provider if other options are not available.

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