Thursday, July 14, 2016

Buprenorphine for Patients with Opioid Addiction

Board-certified anesthesiologist Annie Burton, MD, graduated from medical school in 2001 and is currently completing a fellowship in interventional pain management at the University of Minnesota. After completing her fellowship, Annie Burton, MD, plans to treat patients with chronic pain and those with addiction issues. She has experience working with buprenorphine, a medication that can treat both of these problems.

Since the passage of the Drug Treatment Act in 2000, qualified physicians have been allowed to prescribe controlled substances to treat patients with opioid addiction. The Act made it possible for these patients to receive treatment for substance abuse in a traditional medical setting and led to the development of pharmaceutical interventions such as buprenorphine.

Buprenorphine is an effective medication for treating addiction because, as a partial opioid agonist, it stimulates the same receptors as full agonists like morphine and heroin but produces less euphoria and other desired effects. At the appropriate dose, buprenorphine can help patients with opioid addiction reduce their craving for and use of opioids while experiencing fewer symptoms of withdrawal.

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