Dexmedetomidine as a novel therapeutic for postoperative pain in a patient treated with buprenorphine

J Opioid Manag. May-Jun 2009;5(3):175-9. doi: 10.5055/jom.2009.0018.


Buprenorphine is a partial agonist/antagonist used for the outpatient management of pain and addiction. It avidly binds to the opioid receptors and has a long and varied half-life. Its effects can impair the efficacy of opioids used for postoperative pain. The authors present a case of a patient managed with buprenorphine as an outpatient who presented for revision spine surgery and had significant postoperative pain that was successfully treated with hydromorphone and dexmedetomidine. This is the first reported use of dexmedetomidine for postoperative pain in a patient treated with buprenorphine.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analgesics, Non-Narcotic / therapeutic use
  • Analgesics, Opioid / pharmacokinetics
  • Analgesics, Opioid / pharmacology
  • Analgesics, Opioid / therapeutic use
  • Buprenorphine / pharmacokinetics
  • Buprenorphine / pharmacology
  • Buprenorphine / therapeutic use*
  • Dexmedetomidine / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Hydromorphone / therapeutic use
  • Male
  • Narcotic Antagonists / pharmacokinetics
  • Narcotic Antagonists / pharmacology
  • Narcotic Antagonists / therapeutic use
  • Pain, Postoperative / drug therapy*


  • Analgesics, Non-Narcotic
  • Analgesics, Opioid
  • Narcotic Antagonists
  • Buprenorphine
  • Dexmedetomidine
  • Hydromorphone