Technology Appraisal Guidance No. 114
Source: National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence
- Methadone and buprenorphine (oral formulations), using flexible dosing regimens, are recommended as options for maintenance therapy in the management of opioid dependence.
- The decision about which drug to use should be made on a case by case basis, taking into account a number of factors, including the person's history of opioid dependence, their commitment to a particular long-term management strategy, and an estimate of the risks and benefits of each treatment made by the responsible clinician in consultation with the person. If both drugs are equally suitable, methadone should be prescribed as the first choice.
- Methadone and buprenorphine should be administered daily, under supervision, for at least the first 3 months. Supervision should be relaxed only when the patient's compliance is assured. Both drugs should be given as part of a programme of supportive care.
The guidance shown above constitutes Section 1 of the full document. A copy of the full document and a summary of the evidence is available on the Internet at http://guidance.nice.org.uk/TA114
An abridged version of this guidance (a 'quick reference guide') is also available. Printed copies of the quick reference guide can be obtained by contacting 0845 003 7783 or emailing email@example.com and quoting reference number N1174. It is also available on the Internet at http://guidance.nice.org.uk/TA114/quickrefguide/pdf/English
This guidance represents the view of the Institute which was arrived at after careful consideration of the available evidence. Health professionals are expected to fully take it into account when exercising their clinical judgement. This guidance does not, however, override the individual responsibility of health professionals to make appropriate decisions in the circumstances of the individual patient, in consultation with the patient and/or guardian or carer.
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Methadone and Buprenorphine for the Management of Opioid Dependence.
Issue Date: January 2007
Review Date: March 2010