#221 Treatment of Pain in Patients Taking Buprenorphine for Opioid Addiction


Background:  This Fast Fact discusses treating pain in patients using buprenorphine for opioid addiction. Buprenorphine is a mixed opioid agonist/antagonist, available in the United States in the sublingual form as ‘Subutex,’ and formulated with naloxone as ‘Suboxone.’ It is approved for treatment of opioid addiction in the US; such use is restricted to qualified physicians who have received training and a waiver to practice medication-assisted opioid addiction therapy. Over the last seven years, over 10,000 physicians have been approved to use buprenorphine, with 2,103,000 prescriptions filled in 2007. Given this, clinicians are likely to encounter patients on buprenorphine therapy who also require treatment for pain.


Medical College of Wisconsin (EPERC)


November 2009; 221.

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Julie W Childers MD and Robert Arnold MD