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Urinalysis-based comparative evaluation of pattern of use of dextropropoxyphene and buprenorphine among opioid-dependent subjects

Yatan Pal Singh Balhara, MD, DNB (Psychiatry), MNAMS, Raka Jain, PhD, CChem, FRSC


Objective: In view of increasing safety concerns, there is a need to assess benefits of use of dextropropoxyphene as opioid substitution treatment, if any. This study aims at urinalysis-based comparative evaluation of pattern of use of dextropropoxyphene and buprenorphine among opioid-dependent subjects.
Setting: Laboratory of a tertiary care drug-dependence treatment center.
Participants: Patients on buprenorphine and dextropropoxyphene therapy and their urinalysis records.
Interventions: Nonexperimental chart review method.
Main outcome measure(s): “Use,” “abuse,” and “prescribed but not used rates” for buprenorphine and dextropropoxyphene were compared, using χ2-test with level of significance at p < 0.05.
Results: Rate of “use” and “abuse” was significantly high for dextropropoxyphene. Rate of “prescribed but not used” was significantly high for buprenorphine (p < 0.05).
Conclusions: Despite apparent benefits of dextropropoxyphene use in terms of better rates of “use” and “prescribed but not used” as compared to buprenorphine, one needs to review the situation in light of recent reports of adverse effects with dextropropoxyphene and limited resources available.


buprenorphine, dextropropoxyphene, opioid abuse, opioid substitution therapy

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