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      Buprenorphine maintenance versus placebo or methadone maintenance for opioid dependence.

      The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews

      Buprenorphine, therapeutic use, Humans, Maintenance Chemotherapy, methods, Methadone, Narcotic Antagonists, Narcotics, Opioid-Related Disorders, rehabilitation, Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic

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          Abstract

          Buprenorphine maintenance treatment has been evaluated in randomised controlled trials against placebo medication, and separately as an alternative to methadone for management of opioid dependence. To evaluate buprenorphine maintenance compared to placebo and to methadone maintenance in the management of opioid dependence, including its ability to retain people in treatment, suppress illicit drug use, reduce criminal activity, and mortality. We searched the following databases to January 2013: Cochrane Drugs and Alcohol Review Group Specialised Register, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, MEDLINE, EMBASE, Current Contents, PsycLIT, CORK, Alcohol and Drug Council of Australia, Australian Drug Foundation, Centre for Education and Information on Drugs and Alcohol, Library of Congress, reference lists of identified studies and reviews. We sought published/unpublished randomised controlled trials (RCTs) from authors. Randomised controlled trials of buprenorphine maintenance treatment versus placebo or methadone in management of opioid-dependent persons. We used Cochrane Collaboration methodology. We include 31 trials (5430 participants), the quality of evidence varied from high to moderate quality.There is high quality of evidence that buprenorphine was superior to placebo medication in retention of participants in treatment at all doses examined. Specifically, buprenorphine retained participants better than placebo: at low doses (2 - 6 mg), 5 studies, 1131 participants, risk ratio (RR) 1.50; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.19 to 1.88; at medium doses (7 - 15 mg), 4 studies, 887 participants, RR 1.74; 95% CI 1.06 to 2.87; and at high doses (≥ 16 mg), 5 studies, 1001 participants, RR 1.82; 95% CI 1.15 to 2.90. However, there is moderate quality of evidence that only high-dose buprenorphine (≥ 16 mg) was more effective than placebo in suppressing illicit opioid use measured by urinanalysis in the trials, 3 studies, 729 participants, standardised mean difference (SMD) -1.17; 95% CI -1.85 to -0.49, Notably, low-dose, (2 studies, 487 participants, SMD 0.10; 95% CI -0.80 to 1.01), and medium-dose, (2 studies, 463 participants, SMD -0.08; 95% CI -0.78 to 0.62) buprenorphine did not suppress illicit opioid use measured by urinanalysis better than placebo.There is high quality of evidence that buprenorphine in flexible doses adjusted to participant need,was less effective than methadone in retaining participants, 5 studies, 788 participants, RR 0.83; 95% CI 0.72 to 0.95. For those retained in treatment, no difference was observed in suppression of opioid use as measured by urinalysis, 8 studies, 1027 participants, SMD -0.11; 95% CI -0.23 to 0.02 or self report, 4 studies, 501 participants, SMD -0.11; 95% CI -0.28 to 0.07, with moderate quality of evidence.Consistent with the results in the flexible-dose studies, in low fixed-dose studies, methadone (≤ 40 mg) was more likely to retain participants than low-dose buprenorphine (2 - 6 mg), (3 studies, 253 participants, RR 0.67; 95% CI: 0.52 to 0.87). However, we found contrary results at medium dose and high dose: there was no difference between medium-dose buprenorphine (7 - 15 mg) and medium-dose methadone (40 - 85 mg) in retention, (7 studies, 780 participants, RR 0.87; 95% CI 0.69 to 1.10) or in suppression of illicit opioid use as measured by urines, (4 studies, 476 participants, SMD 0.25; 95% CI -0.08 to 0.58) or self report of illicit opioid use, (2 studies, 174 participants, SMD -0.82; 95% CI -1.83 to 0.19). Similarly, there was no difference between high-dose buprenorphine (≥ 16 mg) and high-dose methadone (≥ 85 mg) in retention (RR 0.79; 95% CI 0.20 to 3.16) or suppression of self-reported heroin use (SMD -0.73; 95% CI -1.08 to -0.37) (1 study, 134 participants).Few studies reported adverse events ; two studies compared adverse events statistically, finding no difference between methadone and buprenorphine, except for a single result indicating more sedation among those using methadone. Buprenorphine is an effective medication in the maintenance treatment of heroin dependence, retaining people in treatment at any dose above 2 mg, and suppressing illicit opioid use (at doses 16 mg or greater) based on placebo-controlled trials.However, compared to methadone, buprenorphine retains fewer people when doses are flexibly delivered and at low fixed doses. If fixed medium or high doses are used, buprenorphine and methadone appear no different in effectiveness (retention in treatment and suppression of illicit opioid use); however, fixed doses are rarely used in clinical practice so the flexible dose results are more relevant to patient care. Methadone is superior to buprenorphine in retaining people in treatment, and methadone equally suppresses illicit opioid use.

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          Most cited references 85

          • Record: found
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          Methadone maintenance therapy versus no opioid replacement therapy for opioid dependence.

           Richard P. Mattick (corresponding) ,  Courtney Breen,  Jo Kimber (2009)
          Methadone maintenance was the first widely used opioid replacement therapy to treat heroin dependence, and it remains the best-researched treatment for this problem. Despite the widespread use of methadone in maintenance treatment for opioid dependence in many countries, it is a controversial treatment whose effectiveness has been disputed. To evaluate the effects of methadone maintenance treatment (MMT) compared with treatments that did not involve opioid replacement therapy (i.e., detoxification, offer of drug-free rehabilitation, placebo medication, wait-list controls) for opioid dependence. We searched the following databases up to Dec 2008: the Cochrane Controlled Trials Register, EMBASE, PubMED, CINAHL, Current Contents, Psychlit, CORK [www. state.vt.su/adap/cork], Alcohol and Drug Council of Australia (ADCA) [www.adca.org.au], Australian Drug Foundation (ADF-VIC) [www.adf.org.au], Centre for Education and Information on Drugs and Alcohol (CEIDA) [www.ceida.net.au], Australian Bibliographic Network (ABN), and Library of Congress databases, available NIDA monographs and the College on Problems of Drug Dependence Inc. proceedings, the reference lists of all identified studies and published reviews; authors of identified RCTs were asked about other published or unpublished relevant RCTs. All randomised controlled clinical trials of methadone maintenance therapy compared with either placebo maintenance or other non-pharmacological therapy for the treatment of opioid dependence. Reviewers evaluated the papers separately and independently, rating methodological quality of sequence generation, concealment of allocation and bias. Data were extracted independently for meta-analysis and double-entered. Eleven studies met the criteria for inclusion in this review, all were randomised clinical trials, two were double-blind. There were a total number of 1969 participants. The sequence generation was inadequate in one study, adequate in five studies and unclear in the remaining studies. The allocation of concealment was adequate in three studies and unclear in the remaining studies. Methadone appeared statistically significantly more effective than non-pharmacological approaches in retaining patients in treatment and in the suppression of heroin use as measured by self report and urine/hair analysis (6 RCTs, RR = 0.66 95% CI 0.56-0.78), but not statistically different in criminal activity (3 RCTs, RR=0.39; 95%CI: 0.12-1.25) or mortality (4 RCTs, RR=0.48; 95%CI: 0.10-2.39). Methadone is an effective maintenance therapy intervention for the treatment of heroin dependence as it retains patients in treatment and decreases heroin use better than treatments that do not utilise opioid replacement therapy. It does not show a statistically significant superior effect on criminal activity or mortality.
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            • Abstract: not found
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            A Medical Treatment for Diacetylmorphine (Heroin) Addiction

             Vincent Dole (1965)
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              Human Pharmacology and Abuse Potential of the Analgesic Buprenorphine

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                24500948
                10.1002/14651858.CD002207.pub4

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