Yale School of Medicine clinician-researchers have developed a novel approach for helping patients on long-term painkillers reduce opioid use, as well as unwanted side effects such as fatigue and grogginess less the most dreadful part of kicking the habit—withdrawal symptoms. The team has developed a method incorporate buprenorphine therapy with opioid therapy to successfully phase out use of oxycodone and morphine—full-agonist opioids because they fully activate the brain’s opioid receptors. Over time, patients shifted to buprenorphine with a noticeable different in quality of life. Although buprenorphine is a partial agonist, it is far safer for long-term use than these other highly addictive therapies.
The study involved six patients over 55 years of age and the results simulated the researchers to adjust an ongoing multi-site $12 million study funded by the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute to include this new treatment method as well as another approach backed by the National Institutes of Health reports Yale News that commences this September. The studies are part of the Pain Research, Informatics, Multimorbidities & Education (PRIME) center, a center of innovation dedicated to women veterans’ health at Yale.
Dr. William C. Becker, associate professor, internal medicine, Yale School of Medicine
Call to Action: Do you or a loved one have an opiate addiction issue? If so, consider this “game changer” at Yale—review the source at Yale News and review the protocol. It appears to work.