Buprenorphine bnf, Buprenorphine is the first opioid use disorder (OUD) drug that may be prescribed or delivered in a doctor’s office, dramatically boosting access to treatment. Buprenorphine, like all other drugs used in treatment, should be provided as part of a comprehensive treatment plan that includes counseling and other services to give patients a whole-person approach.
Buprenorphine has various advantages for persons with OUD and others for whom treatment in an Opioid Treatment Clinic is ineffective or inconvenient.
How Does Buprenorphine Work?
Buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist. At low to moderate doses, it causes euphoria or respiratory depression. However, the effects of buprenorphine are milder than those of complete opioid agonists such as methadone and heroin.
Buprenorphine is both safe and effective when used as directed. Buprenorphine has distinct pharmacological characteristics that enable it to:
Reduce the effects of physical opioid reliance, such as withdrawal symptoms and cravings.
Increased safety in overdose cases
Reduce the possibility of misuse
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Buprenorphine for Opioid Addiction
To begin treatment, an OUD patient must be in the early stages of opioid withdrawal and have abstained from consuming opioids for at least 12 to 24 hours. Acute withdrawal may occur in patients who have opioids in their circulation or who are not in the early stages of withdrawal. Because buprenorphine is a long-acting medication, patients may be able to switch from daily to alternate-day treatment once established.
To prevent possible relapse, individuals can engage in on-going treatment—with or without MOUD.
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What are the risks associated with buprenorphine?
Buprenorphine is an opioid medicine and can cause life-threatening breathing problems. It’s also important that you do not stop taking it suddenly.
If you decide you want to stop taking buprenorphine, speak with your doctor about how to gradually reduce your dosage. This will help minimise any difficult withdrawal symptoms.
Withdrawal symptoms usually peak in the first few days after stopping buprenorphine. But symptoms may continue for several weeks. These include:
- nausea and/or vomiting
- anxiety or agitation
Buprenorphine may make it difficult for you to drive or operate heavy machinery. If you have recently started taking an opioid medicine or changed dosage, you may be at a higher risk of having an accident.