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Quintuple the daily maintenance dose of buprenorphine given every 5 days was associated with opioid withdrawal symptoms

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QUESTION: In patients with opioid dependence, is quintuple the daily maintenance dose of buprenorphine (BUP) given every 5 days or triple doses every 3 days associated with more withdrawal symptoms than the daily maintenance dose?

Design

29 day randomised (unclear allocation concealment*), blinded (outcome assessors)*, crossover trial (study II).

Setting

Outpatient treatment clinic in USA.

Patients

17 patients (mean age 35 y, 71% men) who were in good health and fulfilled DSM-III-R criteria for opioid dependence. Exclusion criteria were pregnancy, active psychosis, manic depressive illness, or serious medical illness (eg, liver or cardiovascular disease). 88% of patients completed the study.

Intervention

Patients received a maintenance dose of sublingual liquid BUP, 4 mg/70 kg daily (n=6) or 8 mg/70 kg daily …

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