“A recent NIDA-supported clinical trial affirmed one common supposition about medically assisted treatment for opioid addiction and challenged another. As anticipated, trial participants who were addicted to opioid painkillers and did not inject drugs stayed in treatment longer and achieved better outcomes than those who were addicted to heroin or injected drugs. However, the expectation that users of painkillers would benefit more from buprenorphine/naloxone (Bp/Nx) than from methadone therapy was not borne out.
The findings should help clinicians make optimal treatment choices for individual patients, says Dr. Jennifer S. Potter of the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. “People who inject drugs or use heroin may need more structured attention and a higher level of monitoring during treatment, because they have an increased risk for dropping out. When treating users of opioid painkillers, physicians should feel confident recommending either buprenorphine or methadone, depending on the medications’ availability and patients’ preference,” says Dr. Potter.”
Source: National Institute on Drug Abuse – February 18, 2015