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
Citation: Daniel M Strickland and Preeti Manandhar. “Buprenorphine Half-Life - Further Considerations".Acta Scientific Pharmacology 2.2 (2021): 03-10.
Copyright: © 2021 Daniel M Strickland and Preeti Manandhar. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.