A new study has found that monthly buprenorphine injection is effective for treating opioid use disorders.
It shows the long-acting buprenorphine formulation BUP-XR is effective in helping patients struggling with opioid addiction.
The research was reported by the National Institutes of Health.
Daily dose buprenorphine was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2002.
It has proven to be effective in the treatment of opioid use disorders.
However, the daily doses require people to take medication every day and can result in cravings near the end of the 24-hour cycle.
In November 2017, the FDA approved the use of extended release buprenorphine (BUP-XR) under the brand name Sublocade as a monthly long-acting injection.
In this study, the researchers examined 200 participants with a mean duration of opioid use of 11-12 years.
All of the participants were divided into three groups, two with different monthly doses of BUP-XR and one with placebo.
They found both BUP-XR groups achieved abstinence from opioids and showed relief of withdrawal symptoms, control of opioid craving without the need for daily medication.
In addition, the retention was nearly twice as high with BUP-XR compared with placebo.
The study is published in The Lancet.
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Further reading: The Lancet.