Factors associated with complicated buprenorphine inductions

Susan D. Whitley, Nancy L. Sohler, Hillary V. Kunins, Angela Giovanniello, Xuan Li, Galit Sacajiu, Chinazo O. Cunningham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


Despite data supporting its efficacy, barriers to implementation of buprenorphine for office-based treatment are present. Complications can occur during buprenorphine inductions, yet few published studies have examined this phase of treatment. To examine factors associated with complications during buprenorphine induction, we conducted a retrospective chart review of the first 107 patients receiving buprenorphine treatment in an urban community health center. The primary outcome, defined as complicated induction (precipitated or protracted withdrawal), was observed in 18 (16.8%) patients. Complicated inductions were associated with poorer treatment retention (than routine inductions) and decreased over time. Factors independently associated with complicated inductions included recent use of prescribed methadone, recent benzodiazepine use, no prior experience with buprenorphine, and a low initial dose of buprenorphine/naloxone. Findings from this study and further investigation of patient characteristics and treatment characteristics associated with complicated inductions can help guide buprenorphine treatment strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)51-57
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Substance Abuse Treatment
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2010


  • Buprenorphine
  • Buprenorphine induction
  • Opioid dependence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Phychiatric Mental Health
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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