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  • 1. Lesén, Eva
    et al.
    Ericson, Lisa
    Nordic Health Economics AB.
    Simonsberg, Christian
    Varelius, Riitta
    Björholt, Ingela
    Söderpalm, Bo
    Dose patterns among patients using low-dose buprenorphine patches.2013In: Pain medicine (Malden, Mass.), ISSN 1526-2375, E-ISSN 1526-4637, Vol. 14, no 9, p. 1374-80Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to investigate the dose pattern of low-dose buprenorphine patches among patients in Swedish clinical practice. The clinical experts among the coauthors interpreted the results in relation to possible indications of development of tolerance and/or dependence/addiction.

    DESIGN AND SETTING: This was a nationwide, observational study using data from the Swedish Prescribed Drug Register.

    SUBJECTS: Individuals who were dispensed the low-dose buprenorphine patches continuously for more than 24 weeks during July 1, 2005 to February 28, 2011 were included.

    METHODS: The dose pattern was analyzed as the change in dose over time for each patient: 1) the dose at baseline compared with each of the following 8-week intervals, and 2) the dose at baseline compared with the dose during the patients' last treatment period.

    RESULTS: The majority of the patients were female (74%), and most were 75 years and older (69%). The median treatment duration was 260 days, and 4% and 1% of patients remained on continuous treatment for 2 and 3 years, respectively. The mean dose was 11 μg/h at baseline, and 15 μg/h during the patients' last treatment period. The average dose increased by 4 μg/h during the patients' entire treatment course.

    CONCLUSIONS: The average dose increased by 4 μg/h during the patients' treatment course, which lasted on an average of 260 days. From a clinical perspective, the dose increase of 4 μg/h is low and does not suggest dependence/addiction, as also supported by the low proportion of patients remaining on continuous treatment.

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