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Addict Behav. 2007 Feb;32(2):320-31. Epub 2006 Jul 11.

Subjective effects of additional doses of buprenorphine in patients on buprenorphine maintenance.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry and National Drug Dependence Treatment Centre, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi, India.



Buprenorphine has considerable abuse potential. Patients who are maintained on buprenorphine (for opioid dependence) further use additional doses besides its maintenance dose. Subjective effects of the additional doses of buprenorphine in patients on buprenorphine maintenance patients is focused in this study.


Nineteen subjects who were maintained on buprenorphine 4mg, s/l per day for at least 1month were admitted and given three additional doses of buprenorphine 2mg, s/l at the interval of 2h each and subjective effects were assessed with the help of standard tools after 2h of each dose and the next day also. Drug was given in a cumulative dose design in the inpatient unit of a de-addiction centre.


Dysphoria and sleepiness increased while euphoria and drug liking decreased with additional doses of buprenorphine. These changes were statistically significant and were highest at maximum cumulative dose of 10mg.


Results suggest that abuse liability of buprenorphine in these subjects is low in higher doses. However, these findings need to be replicated in this group of patients to make a comment on clinical implication.

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