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Drug Alcohol Depend. 1996 Dec 2;43(1-2):87-91.

Randomised double-blind comparison of lofexidine and methadone in the in-patient treatment of opiate withdrawal.

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  • 1Bethlem and Maudsley NHS Trust, Bethlem Royal Hospital, Beckenham, Kent, UK.


This study compares the clinical responses to methadone and lofexidine in the treatment of opiate withdrawal in 86 polydrug-abusing opiate addicts, using a randomised double-blind study design. The lofexidine treatment more severe symptoms from day 3 to 7 and again on day 10 (the last day of treatment), but thereafter both groups showed a similar progressive symptom decline. There was no significant difference in rates of treatment completion. Both treatments had similar effects on blood pressure. Lofexidine is broadly clinically equivalent to methadone, and appears to be a non-opiate treatment of opiate withdrawal without serious limiting hypotensive side effects.

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