Rohnert Park, CA (PressExposure) July 24, 2009 -- One of the many treatments currently used today for drug addiction, particularly with opioid drugs is the buprenorphine. Buprenorphine, alongside methadone, has been known to successfully cure or treat a person of his/her addiction to opioid drugs such as heroin, oxycodone, hydrocodone, morphine, oxymorphone, fentanyl or other opioids. Both buprenorphine and methadone are medications used for detoxification, short- and long-term maintenance treatment. Each agent has its relative advantages and disadvantages.
Advantage of using Buprenorphine
In terms of efficacy, high-dose buprenorphine has been found to be superior to 20â40 mg of methadone per day and equatable anywhere between 50â70 mg, to up to 100 mg of methadone a 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. According to california drug rehab therapists, buprenorphine is also known to 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 to prevent withdrawals with methadone.
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. According to california drug rehab therapists, most buprenorphine patients are not prescribed more than one month's worth of buprenorphine at a time. However, buprenorphine patients, as a rule, are able to get their one month supply much earlier in their use of the drug than methadone patients.
Adverse Effects and Recreational use
Common adverse drug reactions associated with the use of buprenorphine are similar to those of other opioids and include: nausea and vomiting, drowsiness, dizziness, headache, itch, dry mouth, miosis, orthostatic hypotension, male ejaculatory difficulty, decreased libido, urinary retention. Constipation and CNS effects are seen less frequently than with morphine. Hepatic necrosis and hepatitis with jaundice have been reported with the use of buprenorphine, especially after intravenous injection of crushed tablets.
The most severe and serious adverse reaction associated with opioid use in general is respiratory depression, the mechanism behind fatal overdose. Buprenorphine behaves differently than other opioids in this respect, as it shows a ceiling effect for respiratory depression. Moreover, former doubts on the antagonisation of the respiratory effects by naloxone have been disproved. Buprenorphine effects can be antogonised with a continuous infusion of naloxone.
According to california drug rehab therapists, buprenorphine is also used recreationally, typically by opioid users. Typical effects include analgesia, a sense of euphoria and increased verbal communication. Due to the high potency of tablet forms of buprenorphine, only a small amount of the drug need to be ingested to achieve the desired effects. Buprenorphine abuse is very common in Scandinavia, especially in Finland and Sweden. In 2007, the authorities in Uppsala county in Sweden confiscated more buprenorphine than cocaine, ecstasy and GHB. In Finland, somewhere between 2005-2006, illegal use of Subutex (commonly intravenously) has preceeded the large number of amphetamine usage.