Suboxone is effective for treating opioid use disorder and is safe when taken under the supervision of a doctor, but the buprenorphine and naloxone in Suboxone can interact with some other medications. For this reason, it is important to ensure that a medication is safe to take before using it alongside Suboxone. 

One medication that can potentially interact with Suboxone is the prescription drug tramadol. So, can you take tramadol with Suboxone? Learn some answers below, but always be sure to consult with your doctor before taking any medications together. 

What is Tramadol?

Tramadol is an opioid pain medication used to treat moderate to moderately severe pain, and it is classified as a Schedule IV Controlled Substance, as some people may misuse the drug. Tramadol is considered a narcotic medication and belongs to the same class of drugs as opioids like hydrocodone and oxycodone. 

Can You Take Tramadol and Suboxone Together? 

People may wonder, “Can you take tramadol for pain while on Suboxone?” In most cases, Suboxone and tramadol should not be taken together, as the two drugs are known to have major interaction effects. A tramadol interaction occurs with Suboxone because buprenorphine, the active drug in Suboxone, acts as a partial opioid agonist. This means that it activates the same receptors as opioid drugs like hydrocodone, albeit to a lesser extent. 

In addition, Suboxone contains a drug called naloxone, which discourages people from misusing opioids, since naloxone blocks opioid receptors and can also knock opioids off the receptors. Because of the way that Suboxone works, mixing tramadol with Suboxone can actually lead to withdrawal symptoms, as naloxone can knock tramadol off of the opioid receptors. Naloxone can also block the effects of tramadol and make it less effective for treating pain. 

Dangers of Taking Suboxone and Tramadol Together 

The primary danger when taking tramadol with Suboxone is experiencing withdrawal symptoms. This is especially likely if a person has been taking tramadol for a long period of time. If you are just starting on tramadol, taking it alongside Suboxone can reduce the effectiveness of the tramadol, leading to inadequate pain relief. For patients taking Suboxone, it is best to consult with a doctor about alternative pain medications, like ibuprofen. 

How Long Does Suboxone Block Opiates? 

To understand how long Suboxone blocks opioids like tramadol, it’s important to learn about the half-life of this drug. A drug’s half-life is the amount of time it takes for half of the drug to be removed from the body. While a drug’s half-life can vary depending upon a person’s health and metabolism, the half life of buprenorphine is about 38 hours, but it can be as long as 70 hours, which is nearly three days.

Naloxone, the inactive ingredient in Suboxone, has a shorter half life of about 60 minutes. Naloxone is only active for a short period of time, so its ability to send a person into tramadol withdrawal may only last a few hours. On the other hand, buprenorphine can also block tramadol from activating the opioid receptors. If a person is taking suboxone on an ongoing basis, buprenorphine is likely to block tramadol continuously, at least to the extent that tramadol will not be as effective as intended. 

How Long After Taking Suboxone Can I Take Tramadol?

Given the fact that taking tramadol with Suboxone can send a person into tramadol withdrawal and/or make the tramadol less effective, it is not recommended that tramadol be taken at any time while also taking Suboxone. If you have questions about how long to wait to take Suboxone after tramadol, or vice versa, consult with your physician. 

Does Suboxone Block Tramadol? 

Suboxone can block the effects of opioids. Since tramadol belongs to the opioid class of drugs, Suboxone can block the effects of tramadol and make it less effective. 

Managing Pain While On Suboxone 

If you live with chronic pain, it is not recommended that you take tramadol with Suboxone. Talk with your physician about alternative pain medications, such as ibuprofen, if you are also taking Suboxone. If you’re already taking a pain medication like tramadol and you are thinking about starting on Suboxone, it is important to tell your physician that you are prescribed tramadol so they can make adjustments to your treatment regimen. 

Additional FAQs

The answers to the questions below may also be helpful if you’re looking for information about the safety of taking tramadol and Suboxone together. 

What Pain Meds Can You Take With Suboxone?

Opioid pain medications like tramadol, hydrocodone, and oxycodone should be avoided while taking Suboxone. A physician who prescribes Suboxone can discuss alternative pain medications like ibuprofen to determine if they are a good fit for you. 

Can I Take Tramadol While Taking Buprenorphine?

It is not recommended that buprenorphine and tramadol be taken together. Buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist and as such can block tramadol from activating the opioid receptors, which reduces the effectiveness of tramadol. 

What Medications Can You Not Take With Suboxone? 

There are several medications that shouldn’t be taken alongside Suboxone, as they can cause dangerous interaction effects. CNS depressants like benzodiazepines, barbiturates, and sleep medications should not be taken with Suboxone. 

Other drugs that can interact with Suboxone include antiretrovirals, antidepressant drugs, and a class of medications called CYP3A4 inducers and inhibitors. Talk with your physician to determine if the medications you are taking are safe to take while on Suboxone. 

Consult With An Online Suboxone Doctor Through Confidant Health

If you’re in search of virtual opioid addiction treatment, Confidant Health offers an online Suboxone clinic where you can consult with doctors from home. Our Suboxone doctors will monitor your treatment and talk with you regarding drug interactions to ensure you stay safe while on medication-assisted treatment. Download Confidant’s app today on either the Apple Store or the Google Play Store to work with a Suboxone doctor from home.