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Dexmedetomidine as a novel therapeutic for postoperative pain in a patient treated with buprenorphine

Chad M. Brummett, MD, Kavita A. Trivedi, DO, Anna V. Dubovoy, MD, Daniel W. Berland, MD


Buprenorphine is a partial agonist/antagonist used for the outpatient management of pain and addiction. It avidly binds to the opioid receptors and has a long and varied half-life. Its effects can impair the efficacy of opioids used for postoperative pain. The authors present a case of a patient managed with buprenorphine as an outpatient who presented for revision spine surgery and had significant postoperative pain that was successfully treated with hydromorphone and dexmedetomidine. This is the first reported use of dexmedetomidine for postoperative pain in a patient treated with buprenorphine.


opioid, Precedex, Suboxone, Subutex

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