Acta Scientific Pharmacology

Review Article Volume 2 Issue 2

Buprenorphine Half-Life - Further Considerations

Daniel M Strickland1* and Preeti Manandhar2

1WJ Medical Associates, NC, USA
2Department of Biomedical Sciences, Macquarie University, Australia

*Corresponding Author: Daniel M Strickland, WJ Medical Associates, NC, USA.

Received: August 11, 2020; Published: January 22, 2021



Objective: We evaluated published studies on the half-life of sublingually administered buprenorphine to determine if the values reported, and promulgated, in medical reference documents are supported by those data.

Design: We analyzed, by regression analysis, a frequently referenced pharmacokinetic study on the elimination of sublingually administered buprenorphine.

Results: Buprenorphine appears to follow a three-compartment distribution/elimination process. The half-lives are: Alpha: 1.4 hours, Beta: 4.6 hours, Gamma: 16.5 hours. The predominant portion of the elimination occurs in the alpha and beta phases, but the gamma phase (sometimes called the “terminal” phase) which accounts for a minor mass of drug, appears to be closer to the values (24-69 hours) reported in medical reference documents.

Conclusions: Many clinicians who treat patients with opioid use disorder (OUD) have observed that, given the option, the majority of patients prescribed buprenorphine choose to split their daily doses into 2 or 3 portions in order to reduce withdrawal symptoms that may occur towards the end of that dosing period. We conclude that the “clinical”, or effective, half-life of sublingually administered buprenorphine is much lower than that promulgated in most medical reference documents.

Keywords: Buprenorphine; Half-life; Opioids; Opioid Use Disorder; OUD; Pharmacokinetics



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Citation: Daniel M Strickland and Preeti Manandhar. “Buprenorphine Half-Life - Further Considerations".Acta Scientific Pharmacology 2.2 (2021): 03-10.


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