Sublingual buprenorphine and methadone maintenance treatment: a three-year follow-up of quality of life assessment
Giacomuzzi SM, Ertl M, Kemmler G,
Riemer Y, Vigl A.
University Department of Psychiatry,
Anichstrasse 35, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria.
ScientificWorldJournal. 2005 May 24;5:452-68


This study was conducted to compare long-term outcome effects on the quality of life (QOL) of oral methadone with sublingual buprenorphine maintenance treatment. The QOL status of opioid-dependent patients was assessed using the German version ("Berlin Quality of Life Profile") of the Lancashire Quality of Life Profile. Physical symptoms were measured using the Opiate Withdrawal Scale (OWS). Urine tests were carried out randomly to detect additional consumption. In the first study period, 53 opioid-dependent subjects were enrolled and 25 could be reached after 3 years. The retention rate was 50% for methadone and 45% for buprenorphine (p = 0.786). Baseline values of the total sample (completers and noncompleters) QOL and somatic complaints did not show significant differences between the two treatment groups. QOL characteristics at 6 months of treatment of the buprenorphine completer and noncompleter groups differed significantly regarding job (p = 0.013), family, and total score of physical symptoms (p = 0.002), in which the completer group showed the more favorable values. Concerning physical symptoms at 36 months, logistic regression revealed significantly less stomach cramps (p = 0.037) and fatigue and tiredness (p = 0.034) in buprenorphine compared to the methadone. Moreover, the buprenorphine-maintained group showed significantly less additional consumption of benzodiazepines (p = 0.015) compared with methadone participants. It is concluded that opioid addicts improved their QOL and health status when treated with methadone or buprenorphine. In summary, regarding QOL and health status, the present data indicate that buprenorphine is also a useful long-term alternative for maintenance treatment of opioid-dependent patients.
LAAM v methadone
Opiates in psychiatry
Subutex and Suboxone
Opioids and depression
Buprenorphine and reward
Buprenorphine and naltrexone
Buprenorphine: the standard wisdom
Buprenorphine : behavioral pharmacology
Buprenorphine versus methadone or placebo

and further reading

Future Opioids
BLTC Research
Utopian Surgery?
The Abolitionist Project
The Hedonistic Imperative
The Reproductive Revolution
Critique of Huxley's Brave New World

The Good Drug Guide
The Good Drug Guide

The Responsible Parent's Guide
To Healthy Mood Boosters For All The Family