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- Buprenorphine in treatment of opioid addiction: opportunities, challenges and strategies. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Expert Opin Pharmacother 2014 Aug 29.:1-13.
Introduction: Buprenorphine follows the success of methadone as another milestone in the history of treatment for opioid addiction. Buprenorphine can be used in an office-based setting where it is clearly effective, highly accepted by patients and has a favorable safety profile and less abuse potential. However, the adoption of buprenorphine treatment has been slow in the USA. Areas covered: This article first reviews the history of medication-assisted opioid addiction treatment and the current epidemic opioid addiction, followed by a review of the efficacy, pharmacology and clinical prescription of buprenorphine in office-based care. We then explore the possible barriers in using buprenorphine and the ways to overcome these barriers, including new formulations, educational programs and policy regulations that strike a balance between accessibility and reducing diversion. Expert opinion: Buprenorphine can align addiction treatment with treatments for other chronic medical illnesses. However, preventing diversion will require graduate and continuing medical education and integrated care models for delivery of buprenorphine to those in need.
- A 'Missing Not at Random' (MNAR) and 'Missing at Random' (MAR) Growth Model Comparison with a Buprenorphine/Naloxone Clinical Trial. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Addiction 2014 Aug 29.
To compare three missing data strategies: 1) Latent growth model that assumes the data are missing at random (MAR) model, 2) Diggle-Kenward missing not at random (MNAR) model where dropout is a function of previous/concurrent urinalysis (UA) submissions, and 3) Wu-Carroll MNAR model where dropout is a function of the growth factors.Secondary data analysis of a National Drug Abuse Treatment Clinical Trials Network trial that examined a 7-day versus 28-day taper (i.e., stepwise decrease in buprenorphine/naloxone) on the likelihood of submitting an opioid-positive UA during treatment.11 outpatient treatment settings in 10 US cities.516 opioid dependent participants.Opioid UAs provided across the 4-week treatment period.The MAR model showed a significant effect (B=-0.45, p <0.05) of trial arm on the opioid-positive UA slope (i.e., 28-day taper participants were less likely to submit a positive UA over time) with a small effect size (d=0.20). The MNAR Diggle-Kenward model demonstrated a significant (B=-0.64, p<0.01) effect of trial arm on the slope with a large effect size (d=0.82). The MNAR Wu-Carroll model evidenced a significant (B=-0.41, p<0.05) effect of trial arm on the UA slope that was relatively small (d=0.31).This performance comparison of three missing data strategies (latent growth model, Diggle-Kenward selection model, Wu-Carrol selection model) on sample data indicates a need for increased use of sensitivity analyses in clinical trial research. Given the potential sensitivity of the trial arm effect to missing data assumptions, it is critical for researchers to consider whether the assumptions associated with each model are defensible.
- Dosing considerations with transdermal formulations of fentanyl and buprenorphine for the treatment of cancer pain. [Journal Article, Review]
- J Pain Res 2014.:495-503.
Opioids continue to be first-line pharmacotherapy for patients suffering from cancer pain. Unfortunately, subtherapeutic dosage prescribing of pain medications remains common, and many cancer patients continue to suffer and experience diminished quality of life. A large variety of therapeutic options are available for cancer pain patients. Analgesic pharmacotherapy is based on the patient's self-report of pain intensity and should be tailored to meet the requirements of each individual. Most, if not all, cancer pain patients will ultimately require modifications in their opioid pharmacotherapy. When changes in a patient's medication regimen are needed, adequate pain control is best maintained through appropriate dosage conversion, scheduling immediate release medication for withdrawal prevention, and providing as needed dosing for breakthrough pain. Transdermal opioids are noninvasive, cause less constipation and sedation when compared to oral opioids, and may improve patient compliance. A relative potency of 100:1 is recommended when converting the patient from oral morphine to transdermal fentanyl. Based on the limited data available, there is significant interpatient variability with transdermal buprenorphine and equipotency recommendations from oral morphine of 75:1-110:1 have been suggested. Cancer patients may require larger transdermal buprenorphine doses to control their pain and may respond better to a more aggressive 75-100:1 potency ratio. This review outlines the prescribing of transdermal fentanyl and transdermal buprenorphine including how to safely and effectively convert to and use them for those with cancer pain.
- Prepubertal gonadectomy in cats: different injectable anaesthetic combinations and comparison with gonadectomy at traditional age. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- J Feline Med Surg 2014 Aug 28.
Anaesthetic and analgesic effects of three different injectable anaesthetic combinations for prepubertal gonadectomy (PPG) in cats were studied. One anaesthetic protocol was compared with a similar one for gonadectomy at traditional age (TAG). Kittens were randomly assigned to PPG or TAG. For PPG, three different protocols were compared: (1) intramuscular (IM) administration of 60 μg/kg dexmedetomidine plus 20 μg/kg buprenorphine followed by an IM injection of the anaesthetic agent (20 mg/kg ketamine) (DB-IM protocol); (2) oral transmucosal (OTM) administration of 80 μg/kg dexmedetomidine plus 20 μg/kg buprenorphine followed by an IM injection of 20 mg/kg ketamine combined with 20 µg/kg dexmedetomidine (DB-OTM protocol); (3) IM injection of a 40 μg/kg medetomidine-20 μg/kg buprenorphine-20 mg/kg ketamine combination (MBK-IM protocol). For TAG, a DB-IM protocol was used, but with different doses for dexmedetomidine (40 μg/kg) and ketamine (5 mg/kg). All cats (PPG and TAG) received a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory before surgery. Anaesthetic and analgesic effects were assessed pre- and postoperatively (until 6 h). Cumulative logit, linear and logistic regression models were used for statistical analysis. Compared with the DB-OTM protocol, the DB-IM and MBK-IM protocols provided better anaesthesia with fewer adverse effects in PPG cats. Postoperative pain was not significantly different between anaesthetic protocols. PPG and TAG cats anaesthetised with the two DB-IM protocols differed significantly only for sedation and pain scores, but sedation and pain scores were generally low. Although there were no anaesthesia-related mortalities in the present study and all anaesthetic protocols for PPG in cats provided a surgical plane of anaesthesia and analgesia up to 6 h postoperatively, our findings were in favour of the intramuscular (DB-IM and MBK-IM) protocols.
- Effects of Regulation on Methadone and Buprenorphine Provision in the Wake of Hurricane Sandy. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- J Urban Health 2014 Aug 28.
Hurricane Sandy led to the closing of many major New York City public hospitals including their substance abuse clinics and methadone programs, and the displacement or relocation of thousands of opioid-dependent patients from treatment. The disaster provided a natural experiment that revealed the relative strengths and weaknesses of methadone treatment in comparison to physician office-based buprenorphine treatment for opioid dependence, two modalities of opioid maintenance with markedly different regulatory requirements and institutional procedures. To assess these two modalities of treatment under emergency conditions, semi-structured interviews about barriers to and facilitators of continuity of care for methadone and buprenorphine patients were conducted with 50 providers of opioid maintenance treatment. Major findings included that methadone programs presented more regulatory barriers for providers, difficulty with dose verification due to impaired communication, and an over reliance on emergency room dosing leading to unsafe or suboptimal dosing. Buprenorphine treatment presented fewer regulatory barriers, but buprenorphine providers had little to no cross-coverage options compared to methadone providers, who could refer to alternate methadone programs. The findings point to the need for well-defined emergency procedures with flexibility around regulations, the need for a central registry with patient dose information, as well as stronger professional networks and cross-coverage procedures. These interventions would improve day-to-day services for opioid-maintained patients as well as services under emergency conditions.
- Pharmacodynamic Modelling of Placebo and Buprenorphine Effects on Event-Related Potentials in Experimental Pain. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Basic Clin Pharmacol Toxicol 2014 Feb 23.
The purpose of the study was to investigate placebo and buprenorphine effects on event-related potentials (ERPs) in experimental pain and the potential benefit of population pharmacodynamic modelling in data analysis. Nineteen healthy volunteers received transdermal placebo and buprenorphine in a cross-over study. Drug plasma concentrations and ERPs after electrical stimulation at the median nerve with intensity adjusted to pain detection threshold were recorded until 144 hrs after administration. Placebo and concentration-effect models were fitted to data using non-linear mixed-effects modelling implemented in NONMEM (V7.2.0.). Pharmacodynamic models were developed to adequately describe both placebo and buprenorphine ERP data. Models predicted significant placebo effects, but did not predict significant effects related to buprenorphine concentration. Models revealed that ERPs varied both between subjects and between study occasions. ERPs were found to be reproducible within subjects and occasions as population variance was found to be eight times higher than the unexplained variances. Between-subject variance accounted for more than 75% of the population variance. In conclusion, pharmacodynamic modelling was successfully implemented to allow for placebo and variability correction in ERP of experimental pain. Improved outcome of ERP studies can be expected if variation between subjects and study occasions can be identified and described.
- Buprenorphine for Cancer Pain: Is It Ready for Prime Time? [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Am J Hosp Palliat Care 2014 Aug 27.
Buprenorphine (BUP) is a semisynthetic derivative of the opium alkaloid thebaine found in the poppy Papaver somniferum. Its chemical structure contains the morphine structure but differs by having a cyclopropylmethyl group. Buprenorphine is a potent µ opioid agonist. Buprenorphine undergoes extensive first-pass metabolism in the liver and gut. The development of a transdermal BUP formulation in 2001 led to its evaluation in cancer pain. This article provides the practitioner with an update on the current role of BUP in cancer care. It highlights data suggesting effectiveness in various types of cancer pain. The article reviews pharmacology, routes of administration, adverse effects, drug interactions, and cost considerations.
- Where do we stand in the field of anti-abuse drug discovery? [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Expert Opin Drug Discov 2014 Aug 27.:1-4.
Drug abuse and addiction to licit and illicit drugs constitute an almost worldwide health and socioeconomic problem. This problem can be addressed in a number of ways. As far as pharmaceutical development and drug therapy is concerned, abuse-deterrent formulations (ADF), substitution therapies, antagonist therapies, aversion therapies, and diverse novel approaches can be considered. ADF (or tamper-resistant formulations) are an important step towards preventing the abuse of medically used drugs, such as strong opioid analgesics, and some drug treatments are well established, such as substitution therapy in opioid dependence with methadone and buprenorphine. Nevertheless, a large medical need remains, and drugs that effectively curb opioid or psychostimulant addiction by promoting abstinence and preventing relapse have yet to be developed. Many different targets and mechanisms are currently being considered in preclinical research, but apart from repurposing or reformulating already known drugs, very little clinical development is currently ongoing. It is hoped that at least a few of the investigated approaches (e.g., various glutamate and GABA receptor modulators, nociceptin/orphanin FQ peptide receptor agonists, or histamine H3 receptor antagonists) reach the stage of clinical development and eventually reach regulatory approval.
- Buprenorphine in the workers' compensation setting. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- J Opioid Manag 2014 July-August; 10(4):277-283.
Buprenorphine is approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of chronic pain in low-dose transdermal patch formulations and for the treatment of addiction in high-dose sublingual tablets and films. Clinicians often prescribe these high-dose preparations "off label" for pain management. In the workers' compensation setting, it is particularly important to consider factors such as a) if the injured person has, and is being treated for co-occurring addiction as well as pain; b) if alternative therapies, including opioid withdrawal, were considered prior to initiating buprenorphine treatment; and c) the anticipated duration of treatment. This article reviews buprenorphine's approved indications, formulations, pharmacology, clinical efficacy, and special considerations in the workers' compensation setting.
- Buprenorphine-naloxone buccal soluble film for the treatment of opioid dependence: current update. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Expert Opin Drug Deliv 2014 Aug 25.:1-9.
Introduction: Opioid dependence is a severe medical disorder with a high psychiatric and somatic comorbidity and mortality rate. The opioid agonist methadone, mixed agonist-antagonist buprenorphine and the combination of buprenorphine with the opioid antagonist naloxone are the first-line maintenance treatments for opioid dependence. Risk of diversion and accidental intoxications, especially in children, are of great concern. To lower these risks, a novel buprenorphine-naloxone film has been developed and introduced in the USA and Australia. Areas covered: This review evaluates the available preclinical and clinical data on the novel buprenorphine-naloxone film for treatment of opioid dependence. Literature was identified through a comprehensive PubMed search. Data sources also included official FDA information and material made public by the manufacturer. Expert opinion: Few preclinical and clinical data on safety and efficacy have been published. The pharmacological differences between the novel film and the conventional buprenorphine/naloxone are small. In an experimental study, the new formulation suppressed symptoms of opioid withdrawal. The spectrum of adverse events seems to be similar to that of the conventional sublingual tablet. Recent data show that patients prefer the novel film over the conventional sublingual tablet. Emerging surveillance data indicate a lower risk of accidental poisoning in children compared with the conventional formulation. Further clinical and preclinical data are needed to explore additional possible advantages of the new formulation.