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High dose levomethadyl acetate hydrochloride reduced heroin use in patients dependent on opiates

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Objective

To assess the clinical efficacy of different doses of levomethadyl acetate hydrochloride (LAAM) in the treatment of patients with opioid dependence.

Design

Randomised, double blind, controlled trial with 17 week follow up.

Setting

Outpatient facilities at a medical centre in Maryland, USA.

Patients

180 patients (mean age 35 y, 61% men) entering opioid dependency treatment (May 1994 to November 1995). Inclusion criteria included a diagnosis of opioid dependence (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, third edition, revised), an opioid positive urine sample, and no history of serious psychiatric illness.

Intervention

LAAM was given orally on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. 62 patients were randomised to the low (25/25/35 mg), 59 to the medium (50/50/70 mg), and 59 to the high …

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