Author(s): Gunderson EW, Sumner M
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Abstract OBJECTIVES: The aim of the study was to evaluate treatment retention, efficacy, and preference ratings among opioid-dependent patients transitioning between a buprenorphine/naloxone rapidly dissolving sublingual tablet formulation (BNX-RDT) and BNX film. METHODS: After a 2-day, blinded, fixed-dose induction with BNX-RDT (5.7/1.4 mg and 5.7/1.4 or 11.4/2.8 mg, respectively) or buprenorphine (8 mg and 8 or 16 mg, respectively), patients received open-label titrated doses of BNX-RDT or BNX film (generic buprenorphine induction group) during days 3 to 14. On day 15, patients switched treatment (using a conversion ratio of 5.7-8 mg) and continued switched treatment through day 22. Assessments included treatment retention, opioid withdrawal (Clinical and Subjective Opiate Withdrawal scales), opioid cravings (0-100 visual analog scale [VAS]), and preference ratings. RESULTS: Of the 287 patients who switched from BNX-RDT to BNX film and 279 patients who switched from BNX film to BNX-RDT at day 15, 8.7\% and 6.1\% withdrew, respectively. Reductions in opioid withdrawal and cravings were similar with both formulations through day 15; after switching treatment, reductions were maintained through day 22 in both groups. Preference ratings at day 22 (patients had received both formulations) favored BNX-RDT for taste, mouthfeel, ease of administration, and overall preference (all P < 0.0001). CONCLUSIONS: In both patient groups who switched treatment at day 15, more than 90\% were retained in treatment, and reductions in opioid withdrawal and cravings were sustained. A significant majority of patients preferred BNX-RDT over BNX film, the clinical impact of which requires further study.
This article was published in J Addict Med
and referenced in Clinical Pharmacology & Biopharmaceutics