Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Implanting medication to treat opioid dependence appears beneficial in decreasing opioid usage

Date:
October 13, 2010
Source:
JAMA and Archives Journals
Summary:
Helping to address the issue of medication adherence, persons with opioid dependence who had the medication buprenorphine implanted had less opioid use over 16 weeks, according to a new study.

Helping to address the issue of medication adherence, persons with opioid dependence who had the medication buprenorphine implanted had less opioid use over 16 weeks, according to a study in the October 13 issue of JAMA.

Dependence on opioids, in the form of heroin or prescription pain medications, is a significant health concern. A treatment that has been increasing in usage is the medication buprenorphine, with numerous studies supporting the efficacy of sublingually (beneath the tongue) administered buprenorphine. However, poor treatment adherence, resulting in craving and withdrawal symptoms that increase the likelihood of relapse, is a concern, according to background information in the article. To address these problems with adherence and nonmedical use, an implantable formulation of buprenorphine was developed that delivers a constant and low level of buprenorphine. A preliminary open-label phase 2 study reported favorable results with this implant in opioid-dependent patients.

Walter Ling, M.D., of the University of California, Los Angeles, and colleagues conducted a phase 3 study of buprenorphine implants for treatment of opioid dependence at 18 sites in the United States between April 2007 and June 2008. The study included 163 adults, ages 18 to 65 years, diagnosed with opioid dependence. One hundred eight were randomized to receive buprenorphine implants and 55 to receive placebo implants. The implants were placed below the skin in the inner side of the nondominant arm. The 4 buprenorphine implants, each of which gradually released 80 mg of buprenorphine, and the 4 placebo implants, were removed after 6 months. Standardized individual drug counseling was provided to all patients. Opioid use was gauged via urine samples.

During the course of the study, the buprenorphine implant group had significantly more urine samples negative for illicit opioids during weeks 1 through 16. Patients with buprenorphine implants had an average percentage of urine samples that tested negative for illicit opioids of 40.4 percent and a median (midpoint) of 40.7 percent; those in the placebo group had an average of 28.3 percent and a median of 20.8 percent.

Treatment group differences were also evident on additional efficacy measures, with 65.7 percent of patients in the buprenorphine implant group remaining in the study for the full 24-week study period compared to 30.9 percent of patients in the placebo group. No patients in the buprenorphine implant group met the definition of treatment failure; 30.9 percent of placebo patients were classified as treatment failures.

"Those who received buprenorphine implants also had fewer clinician-rated and patient-rated withdrawal symptoms, had lower patient ratings of craving, and experienced a greater change on clinician global ratings of severity of opioid dependence and on the clinician global ratings of improvement than those who received placebo implants," the researchers write.

"In summary, this study found that the use of buprenorphine implants compared with placebo resulted in less opioid use over 16 weeks and also across the full 24 weeks."

Editorial: Advances in the Treatment of Opioid Dependence -- Continued Progress and Ongoing Challenges

Patrick G. O'Connor, M.D., M.P.H., of the Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Conn., writes in an accompanying editorial that the study by Ling et al represents a potentially important step forward in the effort to improve and expand the treatment options for opioid dependence.

"Further research is needed to assess how this treatment compares with current opioid maintenance treatment prior to the widespread use of implant buprenorphine in clinical practice. If further research suggests that this buprenorphine implant is as good as or better than current treatment approaches, then the study by Ling et al would represent a major advance in the substantial and continued progress that has occurred in the treatment of opioid dependence since methadone maintenance began in the 1960s."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by JAMA and Archives Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal References:

  1. W. Ling, P. Casadonte, G. Bigelow, K. M. Kampman, A. Patkar, G. L. Bailey, R. N. Rosenthal, K. L. Beebe. Buprenorphine Implants for Treatment of Opioid Dependence: A Randomized Controlled Trial. JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association, 2010; 304 (14): 1576 DOI: 10.1001/jama.2010.1427
  2. P. G. O'Connor. Advances in the Treatment of Opioid Dependence: Continued Progress and Ongoing Challenges. JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association, 2010; 304 (14): 1612 DOI: 10.1001/jama.2010.1496

Cite This Page:

JAMA and Archives Journals. "Implanting medication to treat opioid dependence appears beneficial in decreasing opioid usage." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 October 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101012163249.htm>.
JAMA and Archives Journals. (2010, October 13). Implanting medication to treat opioid dependence appears beneficial in decreasing opioid usage. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101012163249.htm
JAMA and Archives Journals. "Implanting medication to treat opioid dependence appears beneficial in decreasing opioid usage." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101012163249.htm (accessed October 23, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Working Mother Getaway: Beaches Turks & Caicos

Working Mother Getaway: Beaches Turks & Caicos

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) Feast your eyes on this gorgeous family-friendly resort. Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
What Your Favorite Color Says About You

What Your Favorite Color Says About You

Buzz60 (Oct. 22, 2014) We all have one color we love to wear, and believe it or not, your color preference may reveal some of your character traits. In celebration of National Color Day, Krystin Goodwin (@kyrstingoodwin) highlights what your favorite colors may say about you. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) A medical team has for the first time given a man the ability to walk again after transplanting cells from his brain onto his severed spinal cord. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Portable Breathalyzer Gets You Home Safely

Portable Breathalyzer Gets You Home Safely

Buzz60 (Oct. 21, 2014) Breeze, a portable breathalyzer, gets you home safely by instantly showing your blood alcohol content, and with one tap, lets you call an Uber, a cab or a friend from your contact list to pick you up. Sean Dowling (@SeanDowlingTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins