Which pharmacologic methods of detoxification are commonly used for opiate withdrawal?

Updated: Jun 21, 2018
  • Author: David W Dixon, DO; Chief Editor: Glen L Xiong, MD  more...
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Answer

Methadone, buprenorphine, and alpha-2 agonists, such as clonidine and lofexidine, are commonly used pharmacologic methods of detoxification. The use of methadone and buprenorphine is based on the principle of cross-tolerance in which one opioid is replaced with another and then slowly withdrawn. Alpha-2 agonists appear to be most effective in suppressing autonomically mediated signs and symptoms of abstinence, [59] but they are less effective for subjective symptoms.


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