Buprenorphine - An Alternative to Methadone
Med Lett Drugs Ther 2003 Feb 17;45(1150):13-15


The FDA has approved the marketing of buprenorphine in sublingual tablets (Reckitt Benckiser) both alone (Subutex) and with naloxone (Suboxone) for treatment of opioid dependence. Previously available only for parenteral use in treatment of pain (Buprenex, and others), it offers an alternative to methadone (Dolophine, and others), which is now often abused (New York Times, February 9, 2003; page 1). As a schedule III narcotic, buprenorphine will be subject to fewer prescribing restrictions than a schedule II drug such as methadone (MJ Kreek and FJ Vocci, J Subst Abuse Treat 2002; 23:93). This review discusses the mechanism of action, regulatory requirements and pharmacology of buprenorphine. Clinical trials are presented, along with a description of the adverse effects, drug interactions, dosage, and cost. The article concludes with an overall assessment of buprenorphine's efficacy, safety and cost.
Sugar junkies
LAAM v methadone
Opioids and depression
Buprenorphine and reward
Transdermal buprenorphine
Buprenorphine and naltrexone
Buprenorphine and the receptors
Buprenorphine as an antidepressant
Buprenorphine: the standard wisdom
Buprenorphine : behavioral pharmacology
Pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics
Buprenorphine versus buprenorphine/nalaxone
Buprenorphine (Buprenex, Temgesic) : structure
Subutex and Suboxone: prescribing information (PDF)

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