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Psychopharmacology

, Volume 189, Issue 3, pp 297–306 | Cite as

Effects associated with double-blind omission of buprenorphine/naloxone over a 98-h period

  • Christopher J. Correia
  • Sharon L. Walsh
  • George E. Bigelow
  • Eric C. StrainEmail author
Original Investigation

Abstract

Rationale

Buprenorphine has a long duration of action that allows less than daily dosing for opioid dependence, but pharmacologic characterization of buprenorphine’s duration of effects over multiple days is incomplete.

Objectives

This study assessed opioid blockade and spontaneous withdrawal effects of buprenorphine/naloxone (B/N) over a 98-h period.

Materials and methods

Residential opioid-dependent volunteers (n = 8) were maintained, in randomized sequence, on each of three different daily sublingual B/N doses (8/2, 16/4, 32/8 mg). After 2 weeks on each maintenance dose, participants underwent challenge sessions on each weekday for 1 week. Challenges consisted of within-session, ascending dose administration of IM hydromorphone (H: 0, 6, and 12 mg). During that week, active B/N dose was given only on Monday; double-blind placebo was administered on the remaining weekdays. Thus, these sessions assessed the extent of both opioid blockade and spontaneous withdrawal at 2, 26, 50, 74, and 98 h after the last active B/N dose.

Results

All three maintenance doses provided substantial but incomplete blockade against opioid agonist effects for 98 h. The extent of blockade diminished steadily but modestly over this time and did not differ as a function of B/N maintenance dose. In general, participants did not report marked spontaneous opioid withdrawal, although mild withdrawal effects were observed as time since the last active B/N dose increased. However, withdrawal did not differ as a function of B/N maintenance dose.

Conclusions

These findings suggest that B/N doses greater than 8/2 mg provide minimal incremental value in terms of opioid blockade and withdrawal suppression.

Keywords

Buprenorphine Dependence Hydromorphone Naloxone Opioid 

Notes

Acknowledgements

Supported by US Public Health Service Scientist Development Award K02 DA00332 and R01 DA08045 from the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christopher J. Correia
    • 1
    • 2
  • Sharon L. Walsh
    • 1
    • 3
  • George E. Bigelow
    • 1
  • Eric C. Strain
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Behavioral Pharmacology Research UnitJohns Hopkins University School of MedicineBaltimoreUSA
  2. 2.Auburn UniversityAuburnUSA
  3. 3.University of KentuckyLexingtonUSA

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