Buprenorphine for the Management of Opioid Withdrawal
Buprenorphine has potential as a medication to manage withdrawal from heroin, and possibly methadone. Dependence on opioid drugs (heroin, methadone) is a major health and social issue in many societies. Managed withdrawal from opioid dependence is an essential first step for drug-free treatment. The review of trials found that the drug buprenorphine has potential as a medication to reduce the signs and symptoms of withdrawal from heroin, and possibly methadone. These include irritability, anxiety, muscle and stomach pain, chills and nausea. The evidence is limited, but suggests that buprenorphine may be more effective than clonidine in reducing these signs and symptoms, and be associated with fewer adverse effects.