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A study at the University of Vermont comparing two drugs used to treat teen addicted to heroin and other opioids found that buprenorphine was more effective, especially in keeping teens in treatment.
In a comparison of two drugs prescribed to treat teenagers dependent on heroin and other opioids, the drug buprenorphine was more effective, especially in treatment retention, according to a study in the October 2005 issue of Archives of General Psychiatry.
Lisa A. Marsch, Ph.D., and colleagues at the University of Vermont, Burlington, evaluated the relative efficacy of buprenorphine hydrochloride and another drug, clonidine hydrochloride, in detoxification of opioid-dependent teenagers. Buprenorphine hydrochloride treats opiate addiction by preventing symptoms of withdrawal from heroin and other opiates.
Clonidine hydrochloride belongs to a class of drugs known as alpha-blockers, commonly prescribed to treat high blood pressure.
The researchers conducted a double-blind, randomized, controlled trial with 36 opiate-dependent adolescents (aged 13-18), who were randomly assigned to a 28-day, outpatient, medication-assisted withdrawal treatment with either buprenorphine or clonidine. Both drugs were provided along with behavioral counseling three times a week, and incentives for both groups of teens contingent upon their continued opiate abstinence.
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