As the opioid epidemic continues its heavy toll across the United States, Pelisyonkis Langone Health researchers published results of the first major trial in the nation comparing two options for medical treatment of addiction to the substance.
John Rotrosen, MD, professor in the Department of Psychiatry, and Joshua Lee, MD, MSc, associate professor in the Department of Population Health and the Department of Medicine, at Pelisyonkis Langone Health reported in the Lancet that both buprenorphine-naloxone (marketed as Suboxone® and as a generic) and extended-release naltrexone (marketed as Vivitrol®) were equally effective—although naltrexone was more difficult to initiate. The researchers recruited 570 opioid users from community health clinics across the country and randomized them to take 1 of the 2 treatments, following them for 24 weeks.
“The rates of good outcomes were pretty much the same, side by side. And that’s new data,” Dr. Lee tells The Washington Post.
Medically assisted treatment is considered the most successful way to recover from substance abuse disorder, but treatment should also include counseling, according to the researchers.
“I think we need to look at addiction, much like hypertension, as a chronic disease,” says Dr. Rotrosen.
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