This drug is a semi-synthetic narcotic derived from thebaine and is currently being investigated for the treatment of narcotic addiction. Like methadone and LAAM, buprenorphine is potent (30 to 50 times the analgesic potency of morphine), has a long duration of action, and does not need to be injected. The buprenorphine products under development are sublingual tablets. Unlike the other treatment drugs, buprenorphine produces far less respiratory depression and is thought to be safer in overdose. Buprenorphine is currently available in the United States as an injectable Schedule V narcotic analgesic (Buprenex®) for human and veterinary use.
Source: DEA - Schedule III narcotic medications Subutex® (buprenorphine hydrochloride) and Suboxone® tablets (buprenorphine hydrochloride and naloxone hydrochloride) received FDA approval for the treatment of opioid addiction.