Buprenorphine detoxification from opioid dependence: a pilot study

Life Sci. 1988;42(6):635-41. doi: 10.1016/0024-3205(88)90454-7.


Sixteen opioid dependent patients were assigned to treatment with buprenorphine for one month at three doses--2 mg (n = 10), 4 mg (n = 4), 8 mg (n = 2). Treatment retention was excellent--only one patient left due to withdrawal symptoms. Illicit opioid use was infrequent, with only 22% of the urines containing illicit opioids. Although buprenorphine dose was not associated with retention or illicit opioid use, patterns of withdrawal symptoms differed among dosage groups during the 30 day study. The 4 mg group had a substantial decline in symptoms, while the other two groups did not. Symptom levels were comparable to those during successful clonidine detoxification and much lower than those found in clonidine failures.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Controlled Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Buprenorphine / therapeutic use*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Female
  • Heroin Dependence / drug therapy*
  • Heroin Dependence / rehabilitation
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Methadone / therapeutic use
  • Substance Withdrawal Syndrome


  • Buprenorphine
  • Methadone