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Buprenorphine

  • By: Therissa Libby
  • In: Encyclopedia of Drug Policy
  • Edited by: Mark A. R. Kleiman & James E. Hawdon
  • Subject:Public Policy, Drug Crimes

Buprenorphine is an opioid receptor partial agonist used as a detoxification and maintenance medication in the treatment of opioid addiction. It was originally developed in the 1970s by Reckitt & Colman as an analgesic in sublingual (Temgesic) and injectable (Buprenex) forms. Initial clinical studies indicated its usefulness as a postsurgical analgesic agent; it was found to have similar effectiveness and greater duration of action compared to other such analgesics. Buprenorphine entered the formulary of opioid analgesics and continues to be used for a variety of types of pain. One limitation on the use of buprenorphine is that it generally cannot be used in combination with other opioids, as can be important in the treatment of chronic pain. This same property, however, is what makes buprenorphine ...

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