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Drug Alcohol Depend. 1989 Jan;23(1):63-71.

Chlordiazepoxide vs. methadone in opiate withdrawal: a preliminary double blind trial.

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Addiction Research Unit, Institute of Psychiatry, London, U.K.


A double blind trial of chlordiazepoxide vs. methadone in the management of the opiate withdrawal syndrome was conducted in a group of 24 regular heroin takers. Subjective and objective measures including physiological parameters were recorded to compare the severity of opiate withdrawal between the two groups. No significant difference was found in terms of subjective withdrawal distress between the two treatment conditions, although there was a tendency to a return of withdrawal symptoms in the methadone group towards the end of treatment. A nurse rating scale demonstrated a significantly higher level of withdrawal signs in the chlordiazepoxide group on day 3. Physiological measures suggested that neither group experienced a severe withdrawal illness. A similar number in each group (37%) became completely drug free.

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