Drug interactions of clinical importance among the opioids, methadone and buprenorphine, and other frequently prescribed medications: a review

Am J Addict. 2010 Jan-Feb;19(1):4-16. doi: 10.1111/j.1521-0391.2009.00005.x.


Drug interactions are a leading cause of morbidity and mortality. Methadone and buprenorphine are frequently prescribed for the treatment of opioid addiction. Patients needing treatment with these medications often have co-occurring medical and mental illnesses that require medication treatment. The abuse of illicit substances is also common in opioid-addicted individuals. These clinical realities place patients being treated with methadone and buprenorphine at risk for potentially toxic drug interactions. A substantial literature has accumulated on drug interactions between either methadone or buprenorphine with other medications when ingested concomitantly by humans. This review summarizes current literature in this area.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Buprenorphine / adverse effects*
  • Buprenorphine / pharmacokinetics
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP2D6 Inhibitors
  • Drug Interactions
  • Humans
  • Illicit Drugs / adverse effects
  • Methadone / adverse effects*
  • Methadone / pharmacokinetics
  • Methadone / pharmacology
  • Opioid-Related Disorders / drug therapy
  • Prescription Drugs / adverse effects
  • Substance-Related Disorders / complications
  • Substance-Related Disorders / drug therapy


  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP2D6 Inhibitors
  • Illicit Drugs
  • Prescription Drugs
  • Buprenorphine
  • Methadone