Several effective medications are now available for treating opioid use disorder but many patients who could benefit do not receive them. Some patients who receive the medications face challenges to staying in treatment.
March 2017 In two pilot clinical trials, buprenorphine helped participants reduce their illicit opioid use and injection drug use while awaiting admission to a methadone or buprenorphine treatment program. Researchers minimized the risks for improper use or diversion of the study medication by giving it to trial participants in a computerized, tamper-proof device that dispenses one dose each day.
May 2016 Treatment that combines use of Bp/Nx and memantine may enable young adults addicted to opioids establish lasting abstinence after a relatively brief course of medication-assisted therapy, a pilot trial suggests.
November 2015 In the first long-term follow-up of patients treated with buprenorphine/naloxone for addiction to opioid pain relievers, half reported that they were abstinent from the drugs 18 months after starting the therapy.
February 2015 Trial participants who were addicted to opioid painkillers and did not inject drugs stayed in treatment longer and achieved better outcomes than those who were addicted to heroin or injected drugs.
February 2015 A significant portion of individuals who are addicted to opioid painkillers may initiate and maintain abstinence with a brief but intensive outpatient detoxification treatment followed by opioid antagonist therapy using naltrexone.
June 2014 Two recent studies suggest that genotyping may enable clinicians to base therapies on individual patients’ potential responsiveness to opioid drugs’ therapeutic effects and vulnerability to their harmful effects.
December 2013 A trial of buprenorphine/naloxone (Bup/Nx) showed no evidence that the medicine was associated with liver damage. The drug gave results similar to those of methadone. The study data indicate that although most patients can be treated safely with either methadone or Bup/Nx without major concern for liver injury, clinicians are advised to continue to monitor the liver health of their patients who are on methadone or Bup/Nx therapy.