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Table of Contents
Vol. 16, No. 2, 2010
Issue release date: March 2010
Section title: Research Report
Eur Addict Res 2010;16:85–90
(DOI:10.1159/000279766)

Bioavailability of Buprenorphine from Crushed and Whole Buprenorphine (Subutex) Tablets

Simojoki K. · Lillsunde P. · Lintzeris N. · Alho H.
aEspooTreatment and Rehabilitation Center, A-Clinic Foundation, Espoo, bNational Institute for Health and Welfare, and cUnit of Substance Abuse Medicine, University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Central Hospital, Helsinki, Finland; dLiverpool and Fairfield Hospital, Drug Health Services, SSWAHS, Camperdown, N.S.W., Australia

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Article / Publication Details

First-Page Preview
Abstract of Research Report

Published online: 2/3/2010

Number of Print Pages: 6
Number of Figures: 1
Number of Tables: 5

ISSN: 1022-6877 (Print)
eISSN: 1421-9891 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/EAR

Abstract

Background: Buprenorphine (Subutex) is the most abused opioid in Finland. In order to curb the abuse potential of this drug, many treatment centers and prisons crush Subutex tablets before administering them to patients. To date, there are no published studies comparing the efficacy and bioavailability of crushed and whole Subutex tablets. Methods: A total of 16 opioid-dependent patients stabilized on 24 mg of buprenorphine were enrolled in a double-blind, double-dummy, randomized cross-over study comparing crushed and whole buprenorphine tablets on a range of pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic variables. Buprenorphine tablets (either crushed or whole) and placebo tablets (either crushed or whole) were administered to subjects simultaneously. Buprenorphine and norbuprenorphine serum levels were measured at 30, 60, 90, 120, 180, 240 and 360 min, as well as 24 h, after tablet administration. After 1 week, the experiment was repeated in a cross-over design so that, by the end of the study, each patient had received the active drug (buprenorphine) as both crushed and whole tablets. Results: Pharmacokinetic parameters (mean serum levels, Cmax, Tmax, AUC) of buprenorphine or norbuprenorphine did not differ significantly between crushed and whole tablets, although serum levels were slightly higher after administration of the crushed tablets. There were also no significant differences in dissolution/absorption time, withdrawal signs or opiate craving. Conclusion: We conclude that crushing Subutex tablets does not significantly alter serum buprenorphine or norbuprenorphine levels or the drug’s clinical effect. Our results indicate that crushing Subutex tablets may be used as an alternative method to counter the risk of buprenorphine diversion.


Article / Publication Details

First-Page Preview
Abstract of Research Report

Published online: 2/3/2010

Number of Print Pages: 6
Number of Figures: 1
Number of Tables: 5

ISSN: 1022-6877 (Print)
eISSN: 1421-9891 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/EAR


Copyright / Drug Dosage

Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher or, in the case of photocopying, direct payment of a specified fee to the Copyright Clearance Center.
Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in goverment regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug.
Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.

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