Buprenorphine: New Tricks With an Old Molecule for Pain Management

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Sublingual buphrenorphine is a unique opioid medication based on its pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamic properties. It may be used “on label” as an alternative choice to methadone for the treatment of opioid addiction or “off-label” for the treatment of both acute and chronic pain. Because of high μ receptor affinity and resultant blockade, it has been suggested that this might interfere with the management of moderate to severe pain in patients on opioid agonist treatment. The following article will offer strategies and approaches to address some of these real and perceived challenges.

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