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Unread 03-09-2017, 11:53 AM   #1
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Default Suboxone metabolite missing from UA results

I've been prescribed suboxone for a few years now. It has done wonders for my recovery. Recently, however, I have been getting pressure from the doctor. In two of my recent tests (not back-to-back), the suboxone metabolite norbuprenorphine was not present.

I want to preface the rest of this by saying that yes, I take it exactly as prescribed. I am on the film, not the tablet. I am only on 4mg/day. I take 2mg in the morning and 2mg mid-afternoon. The UAs I take are generally around 4pm, and I normally take my afternoon dose at around 3pm. The last time this happened, the next test showed it in my system again. However, this time the doctor made it clear that, while he personally believed I was compliant with all the rules of the program, he would have no choice but to discharge me if this kept happening. I told him I understood that with federal oversight he couldn't take any chances. I do sympathize with his view - he cannot put his other patients at risk for one that, at least according to the official metric, is non-compliant.

I am very dedicated to my recovery. I voluntarily attend 12-step meetings and see a psychiatrist monthly. I have not used in years. Both myself, and apparently the doctor, are at a total loss to explain this. The other baffling thing is that while buprenorphine itself does show up on the test, the metabolite DOESN'T. I'm really, really worried that I'm about to lose the central key to my recovery. I previously had to go to a methadone clinic daily, and it was very expensive and inconvenient (like almost 30 minute drive each way). I am terrified, confused and very, very worried. I was hoping I could find some information, or some theory, as to what could possibly cause this. So here's the only one I could think of:

I drink too much liquid, and the metabolite is being diluted below the detection threshold. I probably drink between 2-6 soda per day (I know, I know). I always make sure to drink about a full can before I go to the office because I know I'm going to have to take a UA. Could this possibly account for the missing metabolite? Or maybe something in my diet? I'm desperate for help. I know that I am not yet ready to transition off suboxone totally. It's my ultimate goal, but I'm not ready. I'm so scared I'm going to end up relapsing. Please, please if anyone has any information or ideas, I would be very grateful if you would share them.
nivekfloyd is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 05-16-2017, 05:40 PM   #2
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Okay, I may at least be able to support your claim (if that's the correct wording). I started on Suboxone almost 10 years ago and have tappered down for a long time. I am currently on 1mg a day (and have been for close to two years). Anyway, at one point I got to a dose that cause my UA to show no evidence of Suboxone. Fortunately, my doctor had experienced this before and explained to me that the dose itself can get small enough that it won't show up in a UA. I can't remember the exact dose I was on when it started, but that could definitely be a reason why you're showing a negative.
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