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A chart review based comparative study of retention rates for two dispensing regimens for buprenorphine for subjects with opioid dependence at a tertiary care substance use disorder treatment center

Yatan Pal Singh Balhara, MD, DNB, MNAMS


Objective: The current study aimed at comparison of retention rates for daily dispensing (DD) and alternate-day dispensing (AD) regimens for buprenorphine over a 1-year period at a tertiary care treatment center for management of substance use disorders. Additionally, it aimed at comparison of prescription refill proportions for these two buprenorphine dispensing regimens over a 1-year period.

Setting: The study was conducted at a tertiary level substance use disorder treatment center.

Patients, participants: Case records of patients satisfying the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (Fourth Edition) criteria for opioid dependence syndrome were included in the study.

Main outcome measures: Retention rates and prescription refill proportions were compared for the two buprenorphine dispensing regimens for different time intervals over a 52-week period.

Results: Fifty-two subjects (45.61 percent) were started on DD regimen and 62 (54.38 percent) were put on AD regimen of buprenorphine. All subjects were opioid dependent. The two groups did not differ for prescription refill proportions as well as retention rates for any of the time intervals studied.

Conclusion: The findings of the current study support feasibility and acceptance of alternate-day dosing strategy for buprenorphine dispensing for patients with opioid dependence.


alternate-day dispensing, buprenorphine, daily dispensing, urinalysis

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