Buprenorphine substitution to retain patients in treatment — evidence summary

Summary of the evidence

Rating:
Beneficial

Buprenorphine substitution treatment was found to be more effective than placebo in a synthesis of evidence (WHO, 2009) and more recenlty in a systematic review (Mattick et al., 2014) in:

  • improving retention in treatment
    • at low doses (2-6mg) (RR 1.50, 95 % CI 1.19 to 1.88, 5 studies, N=1131);
    • at medium doses (7-15mg) (RR 1.50, 95 % CI 1.19 to 1.88, 4 studies, N=887);
    • at high doses (≥ 16mg) (RR 1.82, 95 % CI 1.15 to 2.90, 5 studies, N=1001)
  • reducing the number of morphine-positive urines only at high doses (SMD –1.17, 95 % CI –1.85 to –0.49, 3 studies, N=729)

Details

Note: this evidence summary is only valid for the outcomes, target groups, settings and substances/patterns of use described below.

Name of response option:
Pharmacological treatment
Desired outcome(s):
retain patients in treatment
Area(s)
Treatment
Specific substance or pattern of use:
opioids