Thrice-weekly supervised dosing with the combination buprenorphine-naloxone tablet is preferred to daily supervised dosing by opioid-dependent humans

Drug Alcohol Depend. 2001 Jan 1;61(2):173-81. doi: 10.1016/s0376-8716(00)00141-1.


A sublingual tablet formulation of buprenorphine combining 8 mg of buprenorphine with 2 mg of naloxone is being targeted for use in settings where less than daily dosing strategies and/or prescription-based dispensing will likely be employed. This study determined patient preferences for, and clinical outcomes during, daily and 3-day per week supervised dosing schedules using the combination tablet. Twenty-four opioid-dependent subjects completing a 16-day baseline entered an outpatient triple crossover trial. Twenty-one days of daily dosing were compared to two different 21-day periods of 3-day per week supervised dosing: a 3-day per week clinic schedule and a 3-day per week take-home schedule in which tablets were provided to subjects to take at home on days between clinic visits. Thirteen patients completed the study. Significantly more doses were ingested under the 3-day per week schedules. Illicit drug use did not differ across conditions and 45% of urine samples tested positive for illicit opioids. Subjects 'liked' both 3-day per week schedules more than the daily schedule, and ratings of feeling 'good' were higher for the 3-day take-home as opposed to 3-day clinic condition. Almost all subjects (91%) rated 3-day take-home as the most preferred schedule. Overall, reducing clinic attendance improved medication compliance and increased client satisfaction without impacting illicit drug use.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Buprenorphine / administration & dosage*
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Drug Combinations
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Naloxone / administration & dosage*
  • Narcotic Antagonists / administration & dosage*
  • Opioid-Related Disorders / drug therapy*
  • Opioid-Related Disorders / psychology
  • Opioid-Related Disorders / urine
  • Patient Compliance


  • Drug Combinations
  • Narcotic Antagonists
  • Naloxone
  • Buprenorphine