CTN-0027 Outcomes Paper Published!


This paper, currently in press at Drug and Alcohol Dependence and written by Andrew Saxon, Walter Ling, Maureen Hillhouse, and colleagues, reports on the primary outcomes from CTN-0027 (Starting Treatment with Agonist Replacement Therapies (START))Evergreen Treatment Services, a CTP in the Pacific Northwest Node, participated in this study.

Buprenorphine/naloxone (BUP) and methadone (MET) are efficacious treatments for opioid dependence, although concerns about a link between BUP and drug-induced hepatitis have been raised. CTN-0027, Project START, was a randomized controlled trial of 1269 opioid-dependent participants seeking treatment at 8 federally licensed opioid treatment programs and followed up for 32 weeks between May 2006 and August 2012.

Results determined that changes in transaminase levels did not differ by medication condition. Baseline infection with hepatitis C or B was the only significant predictor of moving from low to high transminase levels. MET participants were retained longer than the BUP participants, however the 24-week retention rates for the BUP group in this study were in the range seen in prior studies. In fact, because of its superior safety profile and excellent clinical responses to BUP in previous studies, BUP could be considered a first line treatment agent for opioid dependence, with MET reserved for those who do not respond well to BUP.

Conclusions: This study demonstrated no evidence of liver damage during the initial 6 months of treatment with either BUP or MET, providing further encouragement to physicians to use buprenorphine as an effective treatment option for opioid addiction.

Citation: Saxon AJ, Ling W, Hillhouse M, et al. Buprenorphine/Naloxone and Methadone Effects on Laboratory Indices of Liver Health: A Randomized Trial. Drug and Alcohol Dependence 2012 (in press).

Find it in the CTN Dissemination Library!



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