Buprenorphine-associated gastroparesis during in-patient heroin detoxification

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Abstract

Background

Buprenorphine is a partial mu receptor agonist used in opiate detoxification. It has been shown to cause delayed gastric emptying in healthy volunteers.

Case description

We describe a case of clinically severe gastroparesis (delayed gastric emptying due to impaired contraction of the stomach) whose onset coincided with the commencement of buprenorphine-assisted detoxification.

Conclusion

We review the literature on gastric effects of buprenorphine in healthy volunteers, providing proof of the concept that this was the most probable cause of this patient's gastroparesis.

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