Background and Objectives
Synthetic opioids, including fentanyl and fentanyl analogs, account for over 70,000 annual overdose deaths in the United States, but there is limited information examining methods of induction and maintenance outcomes for buprenorphine treatment of patients with opioid use disorder (OUD) using these opioids.
A secondary analysis of results grouped by fentanyl use status was completed for an open-label study with rapid induction of extended-release buprenorphine in the inpatient research unit. Eligible participants received a single 4 mg dose of transmucosal buprenorphine (BUP-TM) followed by an extended-release buprenorphine 300 mg injection ([BUP-XR]) after approximately 1 h. An extension study continued follow-up up to 6 months (6 monthly injections).
Among participants with fentanyl-positive urine samples (FEN+; n = 19), all received BUP-TM, 17 received BUP-XR, 13 elected to receive a second BUP-XR injection, and 10 received all six scheduled injections. Among participants with fentanyl-negative samples (FEN−; n = 7), all received BUP-TM and BUP-XR, four elected to receive a second injection, and two participants received all six scheduled injections. Induction day clinical opioid withdrawal scale (COWS) scores were similar for FEN+ and FEN− groups. In the FEN+ group, mean COWS scores fell to below 5 within 24 h of BUP-XR injection.
Discussion and Conclusions
The treatment of individuals with OUD using fentanyl with a rapid 1-day induction to BUP-XR 300 mg injection is feasible and well-tolerated.
A prospective trial of participants grouped by fentanyl use status at induction demonstrates comparable patient retention and clinical response following single-day induction of BUP-XR in participants who are FEN+ and FEN−.