Buprenorphine as a pharmacotherapy for cocaine abuse: a review of the evidence

J Addict Dis. 1995;14(3):97-114. doi: 10.1300/J069v14n03_07.


The partial mu-opiate agonist, buprenorphine, is the subject of recent evaluation as a potential pharmacotherapy for cocaine dependence. This paper reviews the extant preclinical and clinical evidence of buprenorphine effectiveness in treating cocaine abuse, including data from our large methadone comparison trial and a smaller buprenorphine dose ranging study. Although buprenorphine appears to reduce cocaine self-administration in studies of non-opiate dependent animals, clinical evidence for the same response in opiate addicts abusing cocaine has not been demonstrated. Further efficacy trials should await preclinical demonstrations of effectiveness in samples with opiate and cocaine exposure.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Analgesics, Opioid / administration & dosage
  • Analgesics, Opioid / therapeutic use*
  • Buprenorphine / administration & dosage
  • Buprenorphine / therapeutic use*
  • Cocaine*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Methadone / administration & dosage
  • Methadone / therapeutic use
  • Substance-Related Disorders / rehabilitation*


  • Analgesics, Opioid
  • Buprenorphine
  • Cocaine
  • Methadone