Thursday, June 9, 2016
Buprenorphine for Addiction and Chronic Pain
Annie Burton, MD, stands out as a board-certified anesthesiologist. Experienced in the treatment of patients with chronic pain, Annie Burton, MD, pursues an interest in addiction medicine and co-morbid pain conditions.
Chronic pain and substance use disorder can be difficult co-presenting conditions for a physician to treat. Statistics suggest that close to 33 percent of patients with chronic pain conditions also present with addiction disorders, while those with addictions to opioids frequently report symptoms indicative of such pain. Patients with these co-occurring conditions are at a higher than average risk for overdose while also being prone to worsening of pain symptoms as a result of withdrawal.
Recently, the analgesic properties of buprenorphine have come to the attention of the medical community as a potential therapy for chronic pain and addiction. Buprenorphine itself has proven effective at treating moderate to severe chronic pain. Potentially useful as a split dose for co-occurring treatment of addiction and chronic pain, such an approach requires careful monitoring but has proven successful in a number of challenging cases.