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Drug Alcohol Depend. 2006 Feb 1;81(2):109-16. Epub 2005 Jul 15.

Opioid antagonist detoxification under anaesthesia versus traditional clonidine detoxification combined with an additional week of psychosocial support: a randomised clinical trial.

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  • 1Substance Abuse Division, Department of Psychiatry, University of Lausanne, Medical Outpatient Clinic, Bugnon 44, 1011 Lausanne, Vaud, Switzerland. Bernard.Favrat@hospvd.ch



While detoxification under anaesthesia accelerates the detoxification procedure, there is a lack of randomised clinical trials evaluating its effectiveness compared to traditional detoxification procedures, and a lack of data on long-term abstinence.


Prospective randomised clinical trial. Analysis by intention to treat and per protocol.


Specialised substance abuse unit in a psychiatric teaching hospital and an intensive care unit of a general hospital.


Seventy patients with opiate mono-dependence requesting detoxification: 36 randomised to RODA (treatment as allocated received by 26) and 34 randomised to classical clonidine detoxification (treatment as allocated received by 21).


Successful detoxification, safety and self-reported abstinence at 3, 6 and 12 months after detoxification.


Socio-demographics were similar in both groups at baseline. No complications were reported during or after anaesthesia. According to the intention to treat analysis, 28/36 (78%) RODA patients and 21/34 (62%) of the clonidine group successfully completed the detoxification process (p=0.14). In the intention to treat analysis, 30% of RODA patients were abstinent after 3 months compared to 14% in the clonidine group (p=0.11). No difference was found at 6 and 12 months (both groups showed less than 5% abstinence after 12 months). The per-protocol analysis showed similar results with no statistical differences either for ASI mean scores or for the SF36 questionnaire.


Although the detoxification success rate and abstinence after 3 months were slightly better for the RODA procedure compared to clonidine treatment, these differences were not statistically significant and disappeared completely after 6 and 12 months.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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