Micro-induction is a novel buprenorphine induction approach that seeks to avoid withdrawal and minimize precipitated withdrawal, both barriers to standard inductions. We aimed to synthesize evidence on micro-induction effectiveness, and regimens described.
We searched scientific databases and grey literature for studies including adolescents or adults with opioid use disorder who received buprenorphine micro-induction. Study selection, data extraction and quality assessments occurred in duplicate. We narratively synthesized results.
We screened 4,752 citations and included 19 case studies/series and one feasibility study (n = 57 patients; mean age 38 years [SD 12.0]; 57.9% male [33/57]). Studies described 26 regimens; starting and maintenance doses ranged from 0.03 to 1.0 mg, and 8 to 32 mg, respectively. We calculated rate of increase to 8 mg. All patients achieved the desired maintenance dose. Among 54 patients in whom precipitated withdrawal was not reported, mean increases were 1.36 mg/day (SD 0.41). For three patients in whom precipitated withdrawal was specifically reported, mean increase was 1.17 mg/day (SD 0.11). All studies were low quality.
Described regimens are highly variable. Inconsistent reporting, selection bias, and poor quality evidence limit conclusions regarding optimal dosing, and patient characteristics and clinical settings in which micro-induction is likely beneficial.
This systematic review provides the most up-to-date synthesis on buprenorphine micro-induction regimens. Rigorous studies evaluating effectiveness and safety of micro-induction, and patient and clinical factors influencing its success, are needed.
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