Aims. To compare opioid withdrawal symptoms during 24-, 48-, 72- and 96-hour buprenorphine dosing regimens and to evaluate subjects' preferences for these different dosing schedules. Subjects. Fourteen opioid-dependent subjects participated in this study. They received daily sublingual maintenance doses of 4 mg/70 kg (n = 4) or 8 mg/70 kg (n = 10) of buprenorphine. Intervention. In the first study subjects received, in a random order, four dosing regimens for five repetitions of each: daily maintenance doses every 24 hours (4 or 8 mg/70 kg), double the daily maintenance dose every 48 hours (8 or 16 mg/70 kg), triple the daily maintenance dose every 72 hours (12 or 24 mg/70 kg), and quadruple the daily maintenance dose every 96 hours (16 or 32 mg/70 kg). Measures of subjective and observer opioid withdrawal symptoms were assessed prior to receipt of each dose. In a second study, subjects chose between the different dosing regimens. Findings. Some withdrawal ratings increased during the less frequent dosing schedules in the first study. In the second study, 46% of subjects preferred the quadruple-every-fourth-day dosing regimen over every other option, and only 14% preferred to be dosed daily. Conclusions. These results suggest that some opioid-dependent outpatients are willing and able to endure the withdrawal symptoms associated with less than daily dosing, and a twice-weekly dosing regimen may be possible.
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Document Type: Research Article
Departments of Psychiatry, Psychology, Substance Abuse Treatment Center, University of Vermont, Bington, VT, USA
Departments of Psychiatry, Psychology and Medical Biostatistics, Substance Abuse Treatment Center, University of Vermont, Bington, VT, USA
Publication date: 2000-07-01