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Minerva Psichiatrica 2020 June;61(1 Suppl. 2):1-20

DOI: 10.23736/S0391-1772.20.02070-1

Copyright © 2020 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

lingua: Inglese

Buprenorphine implants: review of literature evidence and impacts on subjects with opioid use disorders

Marco RIGLIETTA

Addictions Unit, ASST Papa Giovanni XXIII, Bergamo, Italy



Opioid use disorder (OUD) is a chronic relapsing brain disease, which affects individual’s motivation, inhibition and cognition. Opioid use is still a frequent condition as it was estimated that 26 million people in the world suffered from OUD in 2018. OUD impairs both health and behavioral dimension of people. Indeed, people suffering from OUD are at higher risk for virus and systemic infections and display impaired social functioning as shown by increased criminal behavior and decreased quality of life. OUD can be treated through opioid maintenance therapy in combination with psychosocial support, but to be effective, opioid maintenance therapy has to be maintained regularly for a prolonged period of time. Buprenorphine (BPN) is one of the most common pharmacological treatment for OUD, but the usual administration methods can easily lead to misuse and diversion by the patients. To overcome these problems and to improve patients’ treatment retention, long-acting formulations such as BPN subcutaneous implants have been developed. BPN implants allow a more flexible treatment path with individualized approaches and have been associated with important benefits both to patient’s quality of life and to the burden on healthcare systems. BPN implants are characterized by specific pharmacokinetic properties, they have been extensively evaluated for clinical safety, efficacy, showing a positive risk-benefit profile. Advantages for the patients and for the overall healthcare system are highlighted by the opinion of an expert, with a detailed description of the Italian setting of the system of intervention.


KEY WORDS: Opioid-related disorders; Buprenorphine; Quality of life

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