Buprenorphine is the generic form of Subutex, a prescription drug used to treat dependence on opioid painkillers such as oxycodone (OxyContin). It's also prescribed in lower dosages to treat pain.
If you are recovering from surgery, your doctor may start you on buprenorphine to treat your post-operative pain. The drug works on your nervous system and in your brain to reduce the way you feel pain.
Buprenorphine is also used in the treatment of some narcotic drug addictions. When it is used for this purpose, buprenorphine is often combined with naloxone, an ingredient that counters the effects of an overdose of buprenorphine. This combination drug, called Suboxone, is normally given in the privacy and safety of a doctor's office.
Buprenorphine is a narcotic and a controlled substance. If your doctor prescribes buprenorphine, it is only for your use. Do not share buprenorphine with anyone else, even if their symptoms seem to be the same as yours.