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Q How effective is dihydrocodeine compared with methadone in the maintenance treatment of opiate dependence?
Randomised controlled equivalence trial.
Participants were followed up for a minimum of 6 months.
A community drug service and two general practices in Edinburgh, Scotland; recruitment August 2003 to December 2003.
235 people with opiate dependency and recommended for opiate substitution therapy. Those with coexisting conditions such as pregnancy or psychiatric problems were excluded.
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.
Retention in treatment or abstinence from all opiates.
90% at 6 months and 77% at 12 months.
Retention in treatment or abstinence from all opiates was equivalent between groups receiving dihydrocodeine …
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