SUBOXONE is a drug that is being commonly used to treat patients who have opioid addictions. This particular topic is the focus of much research as there is still a debate over its effectiveness in treating a drug addiction, and some opponents argue against its use due to inherent risks. Supporters of the drug believe that it does wonders for the patient, as long as it is managed properly.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse spent approximately 20 years researching and conducting trials as part of the Food and Drug Administration’s approval of buprenorphine as a treatment for opiate dependence and addiction. This medication was developed as part of a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement between NIDA and the firm Reckitt Benckiser Inc.
As a result of this research, the FDA approved SUBOXONE for long-term maintenance therapy that allows patients to try to resume and maintain normal, productive lives despite the stigma and activities associated with drug treatments. By combining the antagonist naloxone with the buprenorphine, the potential for abuse and addiction is greatly reduced in the use of SUBOXONE.
For all opioid addicts, SUBOXONE can present a viable option, but understanding the research behind the drug is essential for a doctor before prescribing it to his or her patients. According to three U.S. trials, the use of the key ingredient in SUBOXONE, buprenorphine, helps to reduce opiate use, retain patients in treatment and presents few side effects. All three studies compared this treatment against the use of methadone and the conclusion suggested that buprenorphine be used as a first line of treatment.
Auriacombe conducted a French study of the drug in 1997 and found that its use resulted in a high level of opioid-clean urines and patient retention in treatment. A variety of methods were used to measure quality of life, which all found that it had improved. Many of the benefits that were identified in this study were a result of the high degree of control associated with the application of the drug.
This area of research has also identified a variety of information surrounding the use of this drug and the applications and implications that can be found in and around the industry that go beyond mere opioid addictions. One area of expansion has been in the use of SUBOXONE is the treatment of those suffering from HIV as many of these patients also have an opioid addiction.
The drug is often favored in this area due to the ability to limit its abuse; prescribe the medication for home-based use; and the removal of the stigma associated with frequent methadone clinic visits. Research has also proven that SUBOXONE presents fewer side effects than other medication options, and those side effects that are present tend to be mild. Those living with HIV already deal with a number of side effects from the disease, as well as the myriad of other drugs necessary to control the related symptoms. SUBOXONE is considered to be an improvement over many other options.
Research will continue into the use, effectiveness and dangers associated with SUBOXONE as deaths have been reported in patients using the drug. These deaths are generally the result of improper or illegal use of the drug. Opponents argue that it should have been more controlled and blame the FDA and the NIDA for allowing it to emerge on the streets. The system is imperfect however, and any drug, no matter the control, can still get into the wrong hands and be used improperly.