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Difficulty in Breathing may Result from Opioid Addiction Medications

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Highlights
  • Buprenorphine, a drug used to treat opioid addiction can cause breathing problems in obese patients.
  • Buprenorphine can impair breathing control in obese patients after tasks such as climbing stairs.
  • Buprenorphine is used in opioid addiction treatment regime because it has lower abuse potential than methadone.

Difficulty in Breathing may Result from Opioid Addiction Medications

Buprenorphine, a drug used to treat opioid addiction can cause breathing problems in obese patients finds a new study. The findings of this study are published in the Anesthesiology journal.

Buprenorphine is a well known to be Schedule III drug with a lower abuse potential than methadone, and it is one of the three drugs approved by the FDA for opioid use treatment.

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A research team from the University of Tennessee have found that buprenorphine can impair the ability of obese mice to adjust their breathing. These studies have to be conducted on human beings to understand further how the drug can influence breathing control.

The previously unknown side effects of buprenorphine can help all doctors improve patient care explained the study's lead author, Ralph Lydic, Robert H. Cole.
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The study has come at the right time, as the state and federal officials are dealing with ways to combat the nation's growing opioid abuse epidemic. A recent study from an Appalachian Regional Commission showed that Appalachia had the greatest rate of opioid abuse and this abuse was growing at a faster rate than other countries.

Previous human studies have reported an increased risk of respiratory failure by opioid intake in obese female patients.

"Given the impressive similarity between mouse and human genes, the mouse data encourage studying the effects of buprenorphine on breathing variability in male and female obese humans," Lydic said.

The daunting challenge for clinical providers is to diminish pain and drug craving in addicted patients without causing respiratory depression said Lydic.

"Recovery from opioid addiction is very difficult and, in the most successful cases, can require two or more years," he said.

"Buprenorphine received FDA approval in 2002. Only now in 2018, we discover an unknown side effect in mice. The delay from 2002 to 2018 in discovering this effect of buprenorphine should help lay readers appreciate the need to support basic and clinical research." said the study's lead author

Reference
  1. Chelsea Angel; Zachary T. Glovak; Wateen Alami; Sara Mihalko; Josh Price; Yandong Jiang; Helen A. Baghdoyan; Ralph Lydic. Buprenorphine Depresses Respiratory Variability in Obese Mice with Altered Leptin Signaling, Anesthesiology (2018).DOI: 10.1097/ALN.0000000000002073


Source: Medindia

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