Opioid dependence: rationale for and efficacy of existing and new treatments

David A Fiellin, Gerald H Friedland, Marc N Gourevitch
Clinical Infectious Diseases 2006 December 15, 43: S173-7
Opioid dependence is a chronic and relapsing medical disorder with a well-established neurobiological basis. Opioid agonist treatments, such as methadone and the recently approved buprenorphine, stabilize opioid receptors and the intracellular processes that lead to opioid withdrawal and craving. Both methadone and buprenorphine have been proven effective for the treatment of opioid dependence and can contribute to a decreased risk of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) transmission. In addition, a buprenorphine/naloxone combination appears to have a decreased potential for abuse or diversion, compared with that associated with methadone. Largely because of these properties, recent legislation now affords an unprecedented opportunity for general physicians to offer opioid agonist treatment through their offices. This review focuses on the neurobiological basis of opioid dependence, the rationale for methadone and buprenorphine treatments, and issues in prescribing these medications to patients with HIV infection.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"