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Opioid use following the introduction of an extended-release oxycodone formulation with tamper-resistant properties: Prospective historical chart review in methadone-maintained patients

Christopher Sankey, MD, CCFP (EM), Beatrice Setnik, PhD, Zoltan Harsanyi, BSc (Hon), MLS, MBA, PStat. (SSC), PSTAT® (ASA), Ken Michalko, PharmD, MBA, Zejiang Yang, PhD, Pierre Geoffroy, MDCM, MSc, FCFP, DABAM


Objective: Emerging data are demonstrating that tamper-resistant opioids may play an important role in changing prescription opioid abuse behaviors. This study was a chart review to examine if the reformulation of OxyContin® into a version with tamper-resistant properties (OxyNEO®) had an impact on oxycodone-positive urine drug screens (UDSs) in opioid-dependent patients receiving methadone maintenance therapy (MMT).

Design: The historical element of this study examined 250 eligible charts from patients on MMT who had data during the time periods when only OxyContin was available (baseline period), during the transition to OxyNEO, and when only OxyNEO was available. The prospective element included an exploratory questionnaire regarding retrospective opioid use.

Setting: The study was conducted at three methadone clinics, in Oshawa, Peterborough, and Scarborough in Ontario, Canada.

Participants: Male and female patients were eligible if they had a diagnosis of opioid dependency, received MMT, and had at least one oxycodone-positive UDS during the baseline period.

Intervention: This was a noninterventional study.

Main outcome measure: The main outcome was the number of oxycodone-positive UDSs.

Results: The results demonstrated a marked reduction in oxycodone-positive UDSs that showed stepwise, statistically significant decreases during the transition and post-OxyContin periods relative to baseline. While the oxycodone-positive UDS results were decreasing, morphine-related-positive UDSs remained relatively stable during the same periods. There were no significant gender differences noted.

Conclusions: The introduction of OxyNEO was associated with a statistically significant reduction in oxycodone exposure in a population of methadone-maintained patients.


oxycodone, opioid abuse, tamper-resistant formulation, urine drug screen, methadone maintenance therapy

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