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Home > Clonidine trialled in new anti-relapse role for heroin dependence.

[Drug and Alcohol Findings] (2016) Clonidine trialled in new anti-relapse role for heroin dependence. Drug and Alcohol Findings Bulletin (11 April 2016)

URL: http://findings.org.uk/PHP/dl.php?file=Kowalczyk_W...

From the USA the first study to show that the drug clonidine can not only ease withdrawal from heroin but also help prevent relapse, seemingly by moderating stress-related craving for the drug.

Key points from summary and commentary
• Clonidine is a medication commonly used to ease heroin withdrawal, but it may also help prevent resumption of heroin use by avoiding stress-related craving for the drug.
• The first study to test this theory found that buprenorphine-maintained patients allocated at random to clonidine were on some measures less likely to use illicit opiate-type drugs and less likely to experience craving for heroin associated with stress or poor mood.
• This single study has not yet established that in routine practice clonidine will prove useful in this new role; in other circumstances patients may simply not take the pills.


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