February 3, 2016 – Buprenorphine Patch


Anchor lead: A skin patch form of an oral medication for drug abuse may help in the fight against opioid addiction, Elizabeth Tracey reports

Buprenorphine is a medicine used to help people overcome opioid addiction, and it’s fairly helpful in doing so.  Now a new implant has been developed to simplify dosing.  Eric Strain, a drug abuse expert at Johns Hopkins, says such a method of drug delivery could be very helpful.

Strain: Buprenorphine has been available now thirteen or fourteen years as a prescribed medication for the treatment of opioid addiction. One of the interests now is are they some people who do well on buprenorphine taking it each day, who could be switched over to a form that might have a longer duration of action, so they might only need to have an injection or an implant once a month or once every few months.  And issues of adherence, not taking the medicine, or risks of misuse or diversioning the medication, are markedly decreased.   :31

Strain says like all medicines to assist recovery efforts, buprenorphine should be used in conjunction with support and counseling, with perhaps a trial of the oral form before an implant is used.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.