Reasons Why Buprenorphine Is Better Than Methadone In Drug Addiction Treatment

New Brunswick, (PressExposure) June 02, 2009 -- Methadone is one of the many adolescent drug treatment commonly used today to treat opioid dependence. It works by relieving the narcotic craving, suppressing the abstinence syndrome, and blocking the euphoric effects associated with heroin or any other opioid. Other than methadone, buprenorphine has also been used to counter the effect of opioid drugs thus losing the addict's interest in the drug. However, which is the best, methadone or buprenorphine?

Methadone vs. Buprenorphine

Efficiency In terms of efficacy, high-dose buprenorphine has been found to be superior to 20–40 mg of methadone per day. In all cases, high-dose buprenorphine has been found to be far superior to placebo and an effective treatment for opioid addiction, with retention rates of 50% as a minimum.

Duration of Effect According to therapists, buprenorphine as adolescent drug treatment have longer duration of action which may allow for dosing every two or three days, as tolerated by the patient, compared with the daily dosing (some patients receive twice daily dosing) required in order to prevent withdrawals with methadone.

Convenience Buprenorphine may be more convenient for some users because patients can be given a thirty-day take home dose relatively soon after starting treatment, hence making treatment more convenient relative to those who need to visit a methadone dispensing facility daily. Buprenorphine as a maintenance treatment thereby offers an advantage of convenience over methadone. Buprenorphine patients are also generally not required to make daily office visits and are often very quickly permitted to obtain a one month prescription for the medication.

Dependence-Liability Buprenorphine may and is generally viewed to have a lower dependence-liability than methadone. In other words, withdrawal from buprenorphine is less difficult. Like methadone treatment, buprenorphine treatment can last anywhere from several days (for detoxification purposes) to eighteen months if patient and doctor both feel that is the best course of action.

Buprenorphine, as a partial ?-opioid receptor agonist, has been claimed and is generally viewed to have a less euphoric effect compared to the full agonist methadone, and was therefore predicted less likely to be diverted to the black market, as well as that buprenorphine is generally accepted as having less potential for abuse than methadone. It is also worth noting that neither methadone nor buprenorphine as adolescent drug treatment are to cause euphoria when taken long-term at the appropriate dose.

About Self-employed

Donna Sparks is a Professor and a Consultant Physician. Other than her clinical and local teaching commitments, she also continues to enjoy the privileges of research, writing and lecturing.

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Press Release Submitted On: June 02, 2009 at 9:42 am
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