The Effect of Buprenorphine Continuation for Patients With Opioid Use Disorder

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    Aurora Quaye
Updated on 5 February 2023


There is limited guidance on the optimal management of buprenorphine perioperatively and both buprenorphine discontinuation and continuation are acceptable standards of care. Buprenorphine continuation at low analgesic dosing is also accepted, however is not provided as a potential treatment strategy by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). There is the risk of inadequate pain control necessitating opioid escalation when buprenorphine is continued. Preliminary clinical observations support buprenorphine continuation at low analgesic doses (8mg) as it adequately facilitates postoperative pain management without interrupting opioid use disorder (OUD) treatment, however to date, no prospective trial has investigated this treatment strategy in comparison to full dose buprenorphine continuation. Since optimal perioperative dosing strategies remain unknown, the purpose of this study is to investigate if buprenorphine continuation at analgesic dosing is superior to full dose buprenorphine continuation in individuals presenting for elective surgery.


The purpose of this study is to investigate whether buprenorphine continuation at analgesic dosing is superior to full dose buprenorphine continuation in individuals presenting for elective surgery. Adults scheduled for elective surgery who are taking ≥12mg buprenorphine for OUD treatment will be eligible for this study. Enrolled participants will be randomized to receive either a reduced analgesic dose of buprenorphine (8mg) or to continue buprenorphine on the day of surgery without dose reduction. The primary outcome of interest is postoperative pain scores. The secondary outcomes of interest are opioid consumption, opioid dispensing up to 30 days following the surgical procedure and OUD related symptoms, including opioid withdrawal, cravings and relapse. The investigators hypothesis is that there will be a clinically significant increase in pain scores when buprenorphine is continued in full compared to when it is continued at a lower analgesic dose. Clinical significance will be defined as a difference in composite pain scores of greater than 20% between groups. The investigators also hypothesize that opioid consumption and opioid dispensing will be greater with full dose buprenorphine continuation compared to low-dose continuation.

Condition Opioid-use Disorder
Treatment Buprenorphine
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT04981678
SponsorAurora Quaye
Last Modified on5 February 2023

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