Withdrawal from Buprenorphine/Naloxone and Maintenance with a Natural Dopaminergic Agonist: A Cautionary NoteKenneth Blum1,4-10*, Marlene Oscar-Berman2, John Femino3, Roger L Waite4, Lisa Benya5, John Giordano6, Joan Borsten5, William B Downs4, Eric R Braverman7, Raquel Loehmann7, Kristina Dushaj7, David Han8, Thomas Simpatico9, Mary Hauser10, Debmalya Barh11 and Thomas McLaughlin12
9Community Mental Health Institute, Center for Clinical & Translational Science, University of Vermont and Department of Psychiatry, University of Vermont College of Medicine, Burlington, Vermont, USA
- *Corresponding Author:
- Kenneth Blum, PhD
Department of Psychiatry and McKnight Brain Institute
University of Florida
College of Medicine
PO Box 103424 Gainesville
Florida, USA, 32610-3424
Received March 08, 2013; Accepted April 17, 2013; Published April 23, 2013
Citation: Blum K, Oscar-Berman M, Femino J, Waite RL, Benya L, et al. (2013) Withdrawal from Buprenorphine/Naloxone and Maintenance with a Natural Dopaminergic Agonist: A Cautionary Note. J Addict Res Ther 4:146. doi:10.4172/2155-6105.1000146
Copyright: © 2013 Blum K, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Background: While numerous studies support the efficacy of methadone and buprenorphine for the stabilization and maintenance of opioid dependence, clinically significant opioid withdrawal symptoms occur upon tapering and cessation of dosage.
Methods: We present a case study of a 35 year old Caucasian female (Krissie) who was prescribed increasing dosages of prescription opioids after carpel tunnel surgery secondary to chronic pain from reflex sympathetic dystrophy and fibromyalgia. Over the next 5 years, daily dosage requirements increased to over 80 mg of Methadone and 300 ug/hr Fentanyl transdermal patches, along with combinations of 12-14 1600 mcg Actig lollipop and oral 100 mg Morphine and 30 mg oxycodone 1-2 tabs q4-6hr PRN for breakthrough pain. Total monthly prescription costs including supplemental benzodiazepines, hypnotics and stimulants exceeded $50,000. The patient was subsequently transferred to Suboxone® in 2008, and the dosage was gradually tapered until her admission for inpatient detoxification with KB220Z a natural dopaminergic agonist. We carefully documented her withdrawal symptoms when she precipitously stopped taking buprenorphine/naloxone and during follow-up while taking KB220Z daily. We also genotyped the patient using a reward gene panel including (9 genes 18 alleles): DRD 2,3,4; MOA-A; COMT; DAT1; 5HTTLLR; OPRM1; and GABRA3.
Findings: At 432 days post Suboxone® withdrawal the patient is being maintained on KB220Z, has been urine tested and is opioid free. Genotyping data revealed a moderate genetic risk for addiction showing a hypodopaminergic trait. This preliminary case data suggest that the daily use of KB220Z could provide a cost effective alternative substitution adjunctive modality for Suboxone®. We encourage double-blind randomized –placebo controlled studies to test the proposition that KB220Z may act as a putative natural opioid substitution maintenance adjunct.