Randomised double-blind comparison of lofexidine and clonidine in the out-patient treatment of opiate withdrawal

Drug Alcohol Depend. 1998 May 1;50(3):251-4. doi: 10.1016/s0376-8716(98)00040-4.


This study compares the clinical response to lofexidine and clonidine in the out-patient treatment of opiate withdrawal in 50 opiate addicts, using a randomised double-blind study design. Patients were taking 40 mg or less methadone daily, or equivalent amounts of other opiates. Fifty-eight percent of those starting treatment completed detoxification, and were opiate free at 4 weeks: more patients completed withdrawal in the lofexidine group, but the difference was not significant. Clonidine produced more hypotensive effects: more home visits were also required by medical staff. There was no other significant difference in side effects. Both drugs can be used successfully in out-patient detoxification, but lofexidine is more economical in regard to staff time.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adrenergic alpha-Agonists / adverse effects
  • Adrenergic alpha-Agonists / therapeutic use*
  • Adult
  • Ambulatory Care / methods
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Clonidine / adverse effects
  • Clonidine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Clonidine / therapeutic use*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Methadone / therapeutic use
  • Narcotic Antagonists / adverse effects
  • Narcotic Antagonists / therapeutic use*
  • Narcotics / therapeutic use
  • Opioid-Related Disorders / drug therapy*
  • Opioid-Related Disorders / rehabilitation
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Substance Withdrawal Syndrome / drug therapy*
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Adrenergic alpha-Agonists
  • Narcotic Antagonists
  • Narcotics
  • Clonidine
  • Methadone
  • lofexidine