Introduction: The mainstay of pharmacological management of opioid dependence is opioid substitution treatment. Methadone is a long-acting opioid agonist, which is used for detoxification and maintenance of opioid-dependent people.
Objective: Objective of the present evaluation included a comparison between methadone and acetaminophen codeine plus clonidine for management of opioid withdrawal symptoms.
Methods: All patients of an acute ward of a psychiatric hospital, who met dual diagnosis of primary psychiatric disorder plus opioid use disorder, were selected as accessible sample for the current evaluation. Duration of assessment was around eleven months and the study was performed according to a single-blind plan. Among 96 patients, cases, who were using methadone, before their recent admission in hospital, continued their substitution treatment according to the recommended dosage and formulation till release (n = 42). The remaining group of patients, had been given acetaminophen codeine plus clonidine, as substitution treatment, during their inpatient management (n = 54). The primary outcome measures were the ‘Cross-Cutting Symptom Measure’ and the ‘Subjective Opiate Withdrawal Scale’, which were scored at baseline, week 1 and week 2. The study was performed according to the ‘per-protocol’ analysis, and the assessor was blind with respect to the said protocols.
Results: While the mean total score of primary outcome measures decreased significantly in both groups, the between-group analysis did not show any significant difference between these two groups in a head-to-head analysis.
Conclusion: Acetaminophen codeine plus clonidine was as good as methadone for management of opioid withdrawal symptoms in inpatient setting.
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