What Is BUP on a Drug Test? (3 Popular Ways to Test for It)

An image of a doctor performing a BUP drug test

If you’re receiving treatment for opioids, you may be wondering what BUP means on a drug test. Some employers require employees to take a BUP drug test to ensure they stick to their prescribed treatment plan.

This article will explain what BUP is, how it affects drug testing, and how you can beat it if you’re taking BUP.

Quick Summary

  • Buprenorphine has a low-ceiling effect, meaning that increasing the dosage will not result in a more intense high.
  • The active ingredient in Suboxone, Buprenorphine, is a very appealing treatment for people addicted to opioids.
  • Several elements affect how much buprenorphine stays active in the body, including liver function, age, weight, usage patterns, and if other medications are taken simultaneously.

What Is BUP on a Drug Test?

An image of medicines, syringe, and a jar filled with urineBUP on a drug test is short for buprenorphine; a long-acting partial opioid agonist used to treat individuals with opioid use disorder (OUD).

Unlike other drugs, buprenorphine has a low ceiling, meaning that taking more of the drug will not result in a higher high. The lethal dose of buprenorphine is far below the amount that would cause respiratory depression. Buprenorphine also has a lower risk of overdose than methadone.

In contrast, heroin has a high ceiling—the more you take, the higher you get. The level at which someone is very high on heroin is close to the level at which it would kill them.

What Is Buprenorphine (BUP)?

Buprenorphine (BUP) is a drug that was originally designed to help people in Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) programs who are struggling with opioid addiction [1].

Buprenorphine is a schedule III prescription medication that is used to relieve the symptoms of heroin withdrawal, such as nausea, agitation, and insomnia. 

Although buprenorphine is less addictive than regular opioids and eases pain for a few days, its side effects may include flu-like symptoms, sweating, headaches, insomnia, mood swings, and nausea.

Buprenorphine is not only dangerous because it can cause dangerously diminished breathing, especially when used with other central nervous system depressants, but also because it has become a popular street drug. 

“Buprenorphine tablets are not available as a trade-names drug. There used to be a brand-name version of the drug called Subutex or Suboxone, but it has been discontinued.”- Helen Marshall, Registered Pharmacist

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How Long Does Buprenorphine Stay In Your System?

An image of a woman checking the time on her wristwatchThe amount of time buprenorphine stays in your system is about 7 to 10 days. Depending on various factors, the amount of time it takes for half a dose of buprenorphine (also known as half-life) to leave the system can range from 24 to 42 hours.

Factors that affect how long buprenorphine stays in the body include liver function, age, weight, frequency of buprenorphine use, and if other medications are taken concurrently with buprenorphine. 

The way each person processes medication varies, so physicians have to tailor the buprenorphine dosage for every patient.

Buprenorphine also becomes more concentrated in people over time, necessitating that some patients start taking it less often or in a lower quantity to lower the risk of overdose.

Does Buprenorphine Show Up on a Drug Test?

Buprenorphine will only show up on a drug test if it is tested for it. Most drug tests look for opioids; however, a buprenorphine drug test will look for norbuprenorphine, a metabolite of buprenorphine. This is why some physicians prefer to administer the drug at least 12 hours before any drug testing.

Also Read: What Drugs Don’t Show Up on a Drug Test?

Types of Tests for Buprenorphine (BUP)

A doctor looking and holding a jar full of urine

The three most common ways to test for buprenorphine (BUP) are through saliva, 12-panel drug tests, and urine tests. Let me explain each in detail.

1. Drug Test Cups

The size of the buprenorphine urine test kit you need will depend on how many substances you want to screen for. The number of panels in a kit ranges from 6 to 16.

The most common drugs that are screened for with this test include, but are not limited to:

  • Amphetamine (AMP)
  • Buprenorphine (BUP)
  • Opioids/Morphine (OPI/MOR)

While urine tests are typically accurate, they come with a few disadvantages. They have to be planned ahead of time, and the sample must be taken in a private bathroom, eliminating synthetic urine as an option.

2. Saliva Oral Swabs

Saliva oral swabs are quick, easy to use, and can detect drug usage within the last 24-72 hours.

These tests usually come in 10-panel kits and will screen for:

  • Cocaine (COC)
  • Oxycodone (OXY)
  • Buprenorphine (BUP)

You can usually buy these saliva swab tests individually or in bulk. Saliva tests are also very convenient because you don’t need a bathroom, and they’re much more difficult to fake. Results from saliva-administered tests take less than ten minutes.

Read More: How to Pass a Mouth Swab Drug Test?

3.12 Panel Drug Test

More comprehensive drug tests that screen for buprenorphine and other drugs are the 12-panel drug test kits.

These tests can detect up to 12 different drugs, including:

  • Amphetamine (AMP)
  • Methamphetamine (MET)
  • Buprenorphine (BUP)


What Are The Side Effects Of Buprenorphine (BUP)?

The side effects of buprenorphine (BUP) are Respiratory Depression, back pain, bladder pain, bloating, bloody or cloudy urine, blurred vision, cough, diarrhea, painful urination, difficulty breathing, dizziness, fever, and headaches.

Does BUP Show Up As Opiate?

No, BUP does not show up as an opiate, although it can cause a false-positive result on opioid drug tests. It is also important to note that some laboratory tests can differentiate between buprenorphine and other opiates.

Are You Being Tested For BUP?

The only way to beat a drug test if you are taking a buprenorphine (BUP) drug test is to stop taking it and wait until all traces of the drug have left your system.

Other methods, such as drinking lots of water or detoxing, will help mask the drug’s presence. After doing a lot of research in a market full of detoxification products, I discovered Clear Choice Rescue Cleanse

Clear Choice Rescue Cleanse has two primary benefits; first, it aids in disguising drug usage through a dilution process to help pass a urine drug test. Second, it can detoxify the body by removing toxins such as heavy metals and pesticides.

You’ll frequently urinate for a couple of hours to flush out the most detectable toxins and increase your chances of passing drug tests.


  1. https://adf.org.au/drug-facts/buprenorphine/

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