FACTORS ASSOCIATED WITH BUPRENORPHINE VS METHADONE FOR OPIATE DEPENDENCE:
A UK study has just appeared that assesses factors involved with the choice of opiates for maintenance and detoxification. Although both providers and patients are said to contribute to the decision, a stated preference for buprenorphine was more likely to be honored than a preference for methadone. In any event, patients generally rated the medication they received in this study as the “most helpful” in their previous treatment experiences. The authors’ conclusion: “The results . . . suggest that patient preferences and beliefs about opioid agonist treatments can serve as important influences upon clinical prescribing practices.” And indeed, they should; in the absence of data allowing reliable predictions regarding which patients might expect to do better with one or another opioid medication, one must wonder why patient preference is not always respected.
Article: Ridge G et al. J Subst Ab Treatm 37 (2009) 95-100.