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      Buprenorphine/naloxone: a review of its use in the treatment of opioid dependence.

      Drugs

      Buprenorphine, administration & dosage, adverse effects, pharmacokinetics, Clinical Trials as Topic, Drug Combinations, Drug Interactions, Humans, Methadone, therapeutic use, Naloxone, Narcotic Antagonists, Opioid-Related Disorders, rehabilitation

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          Abstract

          Buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone) comprises the partial mu-opioid receptor agonist buprenorphine in combination with the opioid antagonist naloxone in a 4 : 1 ratio. When buprenorphine/naloxone is taken sublingually as prescribed, the naloxone exerts no clinically significant effect, leaving the opioid agonist effects of buprenorphine to predominate. However, when buprenorphine/naloxone is parenterally administered in patients physically dependent on full agonist opioids, the opioid antagonism of naloxone causes withdrawal effects, thus reducing the abuse potential of the drug combination. Buprenorphine/naloxone is an effective maintenance therapy for opioid dependence and has generally similar efficacy to methadone, although more data are needed. Less frequent dispensing of buprenorphine/naloxone (e.g. thrice weekly) does not appear to compromise efficacy and can improve patient satisfaction. Buprenorphine/naloxone is more effective than clonidine as a medically-supervised withdrawal therapy. Moreover, buprenorphine/naloxone is a generally well tolerated medically-supervised withdrawal and maintenance treatment. Thus, sublingual buprenorphine/naloxone is a valuable pharmacotherapy for the treatment of opioid dependence.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          19368419
          10.2165/00003495-200969050-00006

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