Buprenorphine Taper Study

successThis study (you can read it here… ) looked at 1, 2, and 4 week tapers using Buprenorphine followed by Naltrexone with everyone followed for 12 weeks.  They were seen daily during the first 5 weeks and 3X/week for the final weeks.  About 25% of those who had the 1 and 2 week tapers were still in the program at the end, and about 63% were still involved of those who had a 4 week taper of Buprenorphine.

My experience treating opiate addiction and dependence over the past 5 years using Buprenorphine and Suboxone is that the longer the taper, the better.  When I would do a one month taper, most patients would relapse.  We now take 9 to 18 months to taper off from a starting dose of 8-16 mg.  If the opiate dependent individual will also work with a relapse prevention counselor and/or attend 12-step meetings, their chance of successfully getting free of the opiates goes way up.

 

Dr. Paul

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