Prescribing Notes

Opiate dependence

Management of opiate dependence and withdrawal requires specialist knowledge. Withdrawal is associated with a specific withdrawal syndrome and where pharmacological intervention is necessary, controlled detoxification using a substitute opiate such as buprenorphine or methadone is recommended. Alternatively, lofexidine may be used to treat opiate dependence, while naltrexone may be useful to prevent relapse in patients who have remained opiate free for at least 7 to 10 days.