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Buprenorphine: Being out of treatment increases risk of death nearly 30-fold

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Buprenorphine reduces mortality for those with opioid use disorder, but periods off treatment are associated with much higher mortality rates. A study of 713 new outpatient users of buprenorphine was conducted in France, where patients with opioid use disorder are usually treated by general practitioners in private practice with periods in and out of treatment. The mortality rate for study subjects was 0.63/100 person-year [95 percent CI 0.40- 0.85], compared to 0.24/100 person-year [0.24-0.25] for other individuals of the same age range during the same time period. The authors encourage physicians to avoid interruption of treatment and encourage patients to remain in treatment for a sufficient amount of time.

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Mortality Associated With Time In And Out Of Buprenorphine Treatment in French Office-Based General Practice: A 7-Year Cohort Study
Julie Dupouy, MD, PhD, et al, Université de Toulouse, Toulouse, France
http://www.annfammed.org/content/15/4/355

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