Buprenorphine vs methadone maintenance treatment for concurrent opioid dependence and cocaine abuse.

Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Conn., USA.
Archives of General Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 13.75). 09/1997; 54(8):713-20.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Buprenorphine, a partial mu-agonist and kappa-antagonist, has been proposed as an alternative to methadone for maintenance treatment of opioid dependence, especially for patients with concurrent cocaine dependence or abuse. This study evaluated whether higher maintenance doses of buprenorphine and methadone are superior to lower doses for reducing illicit opioid use and whether buprenorphine is superior to methadone for reducing cocaine use.
A total of 116 subjects were randomly assigned to 1 of 4 maintenance treatment groups involving higher or lower daily doses of sublingual buprenorphine (12 or 4 mg) or methadone (65 or 20 mg) in a double-blind, 24-week clinical trial. Outcome measures included retention in treatment and illicit opioid and cocaine use as determined by urine toxicology testing and self-report.
There were significant effects of maintenance treatment on rates of illicit opioid use, but no significant differences in treatment retention or the rates of cocaine use. The rates of opioid-positive toxicology tests were lowest for treatment with 65 mg of methadone (45%), followed by 12 mg of buprenorphine (58%), 20 mg of methadone (72%), and 4 mg of buprenorphine (77%), with significant contrasts found between 65 mg of methadone and both lower-dose treatments and between 12 mg of buprenorphine and both lower-dose treatments.
The results support the superiority of higher daily buprenorphine and methadone maintenance doses vs lower doses for reducing illicit opioid use, but the results do not support the superiority of buprenorphine compared with methadone for reducing cocaine use.

1 Follower
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The present study compared in a clinical non-experimental setting the efficacy of buprenorphine (BUP) and methadone (METH) in the treatment of opioid dependence: all the subjects included in the study showed severe long-lasting heroin addiction. Participants (154) were applicants to a 12 weeks treatment program, who were assigned to either METH (78) (mean doses ) or BUP (76) (mean doses ) treatment. Aim of the study was to evaluate patient/treatment variables possibly influencing retention rate, abstinence from illicit drugs and mood changes. METH patients showed a higher retention rate at week 4 (78.2 versus 65.8) (P<0.05), but BUP and METH were equally effective in sustaining retention in treatment and compliance with medication at week 12 (61.5 versus 59.2). Retention rate was influenced by dose, psychosocial functioning and not by psychiatric comorbidity in METH patients. In contrast, BUP maintained patients who completed the observational period showed a significantly higher rate of depression than those who dropped out (P<0.01) and the intention to treat sample (P<0.05). No relationship between retention and dose, or retention and psychosocial functioning was evidenced for BUP patients. The risk of positive urine testing was similar between METH and BUP, as expression of illicit drug use in general. At week 12, the patients treated with METH showed more risk of illicit opioid use than those treated with BUP (32.1% versus 25.6%) (P<0.05). Negative urines were associated with higher doses in both METH and BUP patients. As evidenced for retention, substance abuse history and psychosocial functioning appear unable to influence urinalyses results in BUP patients. Buprenorphine maintained patients who showed negative urines presented a significantly higher rate of depression than those with positive urines (P<0.05). Alternatively, psychiatric comorbidity was found unrelated to urinalyses results in METH patients. Our data need to be interpreted with caution because of the observational clinical methodology and non-random procedure. The present findings provide further support for the utility of BUP in the treatment of opioid dependency and demonstrate efficacy equivalent to that of METH during a clinical procedure. BUP seems to be more effective than METH in patients affected by depressive traits and dysphoria, probably due to antagonist action on κ-opioid receptors. Psychosocial functioning and addiction severity cannot be used as valuable predictors of BUP treatment outcome. High doses appear to predict a better outcome, in term of negative urines, for both METH and BUP, but not in term of retention for BUP patients.
    Drug and Alcohol Dependence 05/2004; DOI:10.1016/S0376-8716(04)00072-9 · 3.28 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Opioid maintenance therapy is a well-established first-line treatment approach in opioid dependence. Buprenorphine, a partial opioid agonist, has been found by numerous studies to be an effective and safe medication in the treatment of opioid dependence. At present, buprenorphine is available as a monodrug or in a fixed 4:1 ratio combination with naloxone. A diminished risk of diversion and abuse for the buprenorphine-naloxone combination is likely but not firmly established. Conventional formulations are given sublingually to avoid the hepatic first-pass effect. A novel film tablet is available only in the US and Australia. Other novel, sustained-release formulations (implant, depot) are currently being developed and tested. Recent studies, including a Cochrane meta-analysis, suggest that the retention with buprenorphine is lower than for methadone, but that buprenorphine may be associated with less drug use. Higher doses of buprenorphine are associated with better retention rates. Buprenorphine has a ceiling effect at the opioid receptor with regard to respiratory depression, and may cause fewer fatal intoxications than methadone. Possible antidepressant effects of buprenorphine and its use in comorbid psychiatric patients has not been studied in much detail. Clinical implications are discussed.
    01/2015; 6:1-14. DOI:10.2147/SAR.S45585
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Abstract BACKGROUND: Concomitant cocaine use is a major problem in clinical practice in methadone maintenance treatment (MMT) and may interfere with successful treatment. Data from European methadone populations is sparse. This register-based study sought to explore the association between prescribed methadone dose and concomitant cocaine and heroin use in the methadone population of Basel City. METHODS: The study included 613 methadone patients between April 1, 2003 and March 31, 2004. Anonymized data was taken from the methadone register of Basel City. For analysis of the prescribed methadone dose distribution, the patient sample was split into three methadone dosage groups: a low dose group (LDG) (n = 200; < 60 mg/day), a medium dose group (MDG) (n = 273; 60 to 100 mg/day), and a high dose group (HDG) (n = 140; > 100 mg/day). Concomitant drug use was based on self-report. RESULTS: Analysis showed a significant difference in self-reported cocaine use between groups (p < 0.001). Patients in the LDG reported significantly fewer cocaine consumption days compared to the MDG (p < 0.001) and the HDG (p < 0.05). Patients in the HDG reported significantly fewer heroin consumption days than those in the LDG (p < 0.01) and the MDG (p < 0.001). In logistic regression analysis, cocaine use was significantly associated with heroin use (OR 4.9). CONCLUSIONS: Cocaine use in methadone patients may be associated with heroin use, which indicates the importance of prescribing appropriate methadone dosages in order to indirectly reduce cocaine use.
    Substance Abuse Treatment Prevention and Policy 12/2014; 9(1):46. DOI:10.1186/1747-597X-9-46 · 1.16 Impact Factor