A new study provides evidence that administering buprenorphine within 10 minutes after an overdose patient wakes up results in a substantial number of patients seeking addiction treatment within 30 days, Stateline reports.
Administering buprenorphine quickly after resuscitation resulted in a nearly six-fold increase in patients showing up for treatment within a month, the study found. The researchers found all of the overdose patients who accepted the oral opioid addiction medication experienced reduced withdrawal symptoms.
“We weren’t sure that would be the case,” study co-author Dr. Gerard Carroll of Cooper Medical School in Camden, NJ told Stateline. Depending on the dose of overdose-reversal drug naloxone they received and their reaction to it, “We were concerned that buprenorphine could make their symptoms worse in some cases. That didn’t happen in even a single patient.”
Dr. Carroll noted that without buprenorphine, patients are overwhelmed by the sudden start of withdrawal, and have difficulty talking to paramedics. Many refuse to go to a hospital for treatment, he said.