THURSDAY, Sept. 21, 2023 (HealthDay News) — Patients initiating buprenorphine treatment for opioid use disorder who are prescribed a 24-mg dose are more likely to remain in treatment longer than those prescribed 16 mg, according to a study published online Sept. 18 in JAMA Network Open.
Laura C. Chambers, Ph.D., from Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, and colleagues estimated the association between buprenorphine dose and time to treatment discontinuation during a period of widespread fentanyl availability. The analysis included 6,499 patients initiating buprenorphine treatment for opioid use disorder (Oct. 1, 2016, to Sept. 30, 2020).
The researchers found that more than half of patients were prescribed a daily dose (16 mg or 24 mg) at initiation (16 mg: 50 percent; 24 mg: 10 percent). Nearly six in 10 patients (58 percent) discontinued buprenorphine treatment within 180 days (16 mg: 59 percent; 24 mg: 53 percent). Patients prescribed a dose of 16 mg had a greater risk for treatment discontinuation than those prescribed 24 mg (adjusted hazard ratio, 1.20).
“The results of this study suggest that the value of higher buprenorphine doses than currently recommended needs to be considered for improving retention in treatment,” the authors write.
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