The use of clonidine in detoxification from opiates.
Use of clonidine hydrochloride in detoxification from opiates has demonstrated that this substance can rapidly suppress the signs and symptoms associated with opiate withdrawal. Clonidine hydrochloride, an alpha-adrenergic agonist, is a non-opiate substance. Studies to date indicate that clonidine is useful for withdrawal from methadone maintenance, where it can help in detoxifying the patient in less than 14 days (instead of the usual three to six months) with a high rate of success in achieving zero dosage. The results of a clinical investigation of clonidine are presented and discussed in this paper. It has been shown to suppress signs and symptoms of opiate withdrawal in patients taking up to 75 mg of methadone daily. Shorter-acting narcotics may be withdrawn in less than a week. To prevent relapse, post-detoxification counselling and the use of the narcotic antagonist, naltrexone, are recommended.
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