Buprenorphine treatment for opioid use disorder: recent progress.Expert Rev Clin Pharmacol 2019; 12(8):791-803ER
Introduction: Opioid use disorder (OUD) has risen globally and is exerting an enormous toll on public health in many countries, particularly in the United States (US). Buprenorphine (BUP) has become one of the mainstays of pharmacological treatment for OUD and newer delivery methods have been developed to improve its effectiveness in treatment. Areas covered: We provide a review of BUP products available for OUD, with a focus on the newer long-acting formulations. A literature search was conducted using PubMed, Google Scholar, and ClinicalTrials.gov to find randomized clinical trials of long-acting BUP products. Four randomized clinical trials were found: two with BUP implant and two with subcutaneous injectable BUP. Expert opinion: In these clinical trials, new BUP formulations were found to be non-inferior to sublingual (SL) BUP and more effective than placebo in reducing opioid use. Longer-acting formulations can improve flexibility in dosing but superiority over existing SL BUP with regards to outcomes needs to be ascertained. There is a need for more comparative studies between longer-acting BUP formulations and currently available SL BUP. Future studies should also include other clinically meaningful outcomes such as quality of life measures, long-term remission rates, and cost-effectiveness.