Opioid users who underwent a novel interim buprenorphine treatment had more illicit opioid-negative urine specimens than those who remained on a waitlist, according to findings presented at the American College of Neuropharmacology Annual Meeting.
“Despite the demonstrated efficacy of agonist maintenance for opioid use disorder, individuals can remain on treatment waitlists for months during which they continue to use illicit opioids and are at significant risk of infectious disease and premature death, Stacey Sigmon, PhD, MA, BA, and research associate professor of psychology and psychiatry at the University of Vermont, and colleagues wrote.
Researchers randomly assigned 25 participants to receive interim buprenorphine treatment — visits twice a month for observed buprenorphine ingestion with the remaining doses dispensed through a computerized device. Daily monitoring and random callbacks occurred through an interactive voice response phone system. Another 25 randomly chosen participants stayed on a waitlist.
Sigmon and colleagues found that when compared with those who stayed on the waitlist, participants receiving interim buprenorphine treatment submitted a greater percentage of illicit opioid-negative urine specimens at 4 weeks (88% vs. 0%), 8 weeks (84% vs. 0%), and 12 weeks (68% vs. 0%). (P < .001 each). Those receiving treatment also showed greater reductions in both Psychiatric (P = .02) and Addiction Severity Index Drug (P < .001) composite scores and frequency of injection drug use (P < .001). In addition, the treatment satisfaction rating was 4.6 on a 5-point scale, adherence with buprenorphine administration was 99%, and daily monitoring and random callback adherence were both 96%.
“Providing [interim buprenorphine treatment] to waitlisted opioid-dependent adults may reduce individual and societal risks during delays to comprehensive treatment,” Sigmon and colleagues wrote. – by Janel Miller
Sigmon S, et al. Abstract 3006914. Presented at the American College of Neuropharmacology Annual Meeting; Dec. 3-7, 2017; Palm Springs, California.
Healio Family Medicine was unable to determine the authors’ relevant financial disclosures prior to publication.