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Double-blind injectable hydromorphone versus diacetylmorphine for the treatment of opioid dependence: a pilot study.

Author(s): Oviedo-Joekes E, Guh D, Brissette S, Marsh DC, Nosyk B, Krausz M, Anis A, Schechter MT

Affiliation(s): School of Population and Public Health, University of British Columbia, BC, Canada. eugenia@mail.cheos.ubc.ca

Publication date & source: 2010-06, J Subst Abuse Treat., 38(4):408-11. Epub 2010 Mar 31.

Publication type: Clinical Trial, Phase III; Randomized Controlled Trial; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Using data from the North American Opioid Maintenance Initiative study, a Phase III randomized and parallel arm trial, this pilot study is aimed at testing if treatment response with injectable hydromorphone differs compared to diacetylmorphine in the treatment of long-term opioid addiction. A total of 140 long-term, treatment-refractory opioid-dependent individuals received either injectable diacetylmorphine (n = 115) or hydromorphone (n = 25), in a double-blind fashion, over 12 months. At the end of the study, none of the participants in the hydromorphone group thought they were definitely receiving this drug. Retention rates at 12 months with diacetylmorphine (87.8%; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 80.5%-92.7%) and hydromorphone (88.0%; 95% CI = 68.7%-96.1%) were virtually identical. The use of illicit heroin in the prior month declined from a mean of 26.6 and 26.3 days at baseline to 5.3 and 5.2 days at 12 month in the diacetylmorphine and hydromorphone groups, respectively. There were no differences between diacetylmorphine and hydromorphone in the adjusted mean scores of the European Addiction Severity Index. There were no differences in the safety profile of the medications. Hydromorphone may be similarly safe and effective as diacetylmorphine as opioid-agonist substitution treatment; future studies are required to confirm it. Further study will also be required to show that open-label hydromorphone can also successfully attract patients into care and retain them. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Page last updated: 2010-10-05

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