A scholarly article published in The American Journal of Psychiatry found that buprenorphine was “noninferior” in elimiating opioid misuse as compared with methadone dosing. Noninferior is another way of saying reasonably similar in effectiveness.
The study was based on 272 patients meeting diagnostic criteria for Opioid Use Disorder, and was conducted over a 24 week period at 7 Canadian hospitals and community treatment clinics.
While the study did not differentiate between dependency severity levels or a patient’s years in active addiction, it did generally establish that buprenorphine was as effective in preventing opioid misuse when compared with a group of patients receiving methadone.
Progress and stabilization were primarily based on drug-testing urinalysis results although other factors were taken into consideration such as retention in opioid treatment for a longer duration of time.
Mounting evidence regarding buprenorphine safety and its overall therapeutic benefit will help to drive increases in funding for additional opioid treatment clinics and easier medication access for prospective patients desiring addiction recovery.