Is methadone or buprenorphine a better choice?
The answer: It depends. Some people do better on methadone, others on buprenorphine, but overall, the drugs are about equally effective as long as you get the right dose. According to the gold-standard Cochrane organization, buprenorphine keeps people away from using opioids illegally as long as they get at least 16 mgs, but too often they get too little or the dosage is flexible. The practical difference is that you can get methadone only in a hospital or at a methadone clinic. You can get buprenorphine from registered doctors, who are more likely to let you take some home with you, along with a prescription for naloxone, which will be administered if you are in danger of an overdose.
November 02, 2017
Christopher Nystuen, MD, MBA