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Dihydrocodeine as effective as methadone for maintenance of treatment for opiate dependence?

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Q How effective is dihydrocodeine compared with methadone in the maintenance treatment of opiate dependence?

METHODS

Embedded ImageDesign:

Randomised controlled equivalence trial.

Embedded ImageAllocation:

Concealed.

Embedded ImageBlinding:

Unblinded.

Embedded ImageFollow-up period:

Participants were followed up for a minimum of 6 months.

Embedded ImageSetting:

A community drug service and two general practices in Edinburgh, Scotland; recruitment August 2003 to December 2003.

Embedded ImagePatients:

235 people with opiate dependency and recommended for opiate substitution therapy. Those with coexisting conditions such as pregnancy or psychiatric problems were excluded.

Embedded ImageIntervention:

Methadone (1 mg/ml) or dihydrocodeine (30 mg or 60 mg) at doses reflecting individual need. Starting doses for all participants were derived from agreed methadone doses (25 mg methadone  =  30 mg dihydrocodeine) and stabilising doses were attained over a 3-week supervised induction phase.

Embedded ImageOutcomes:

Retention in treatment or abstinence from all opiates.

Embedded ImagePatient follow-up:

90% at …

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