Predictors of buprenorphine-naloxone dosing in a 12-week treatment trial for opioid-dependent youth: secondary analyses from a NIDA Clinical Trials Network study.
INTRODUCTION: The present investigation examines baseline patient characteristics to predict dosing of buprenorphine-naloxone, a promising treatment for opioid addiction in youths. METHODS: This study of 69 opioid-dependent youths is a secondary analysis of data collected during a National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) Clinical Trials Network study. Outpatients aged 15-21 were randomized to a 12-week buprenorphine-naloxone dosing condition (including 4 weeks of taper). Predictors of dosing included sociodemographic characteristics (gender, race, age, and education), substance use (alcohol, cannabis, cocaine, and nicotine use), and clinical characteristics (pain and withdrawal severity). RESULTS: Most (75.4%) reported having either "some" (n=40, 58.0%) or "extreme" (n=12, 17.4%) pain on enrollment. Maximum daily dose of buprenorphine-naloxone (19.7 mg) received by patients reporting "extreme" pain at baseline was significantly higher than the dose received by patients reporting "some" pain (15.0mg) and those without pain (12.8 mg). In the adjusted analysis, only severity of pain and withdrawal significantly predicted dose. During the dosing period, there were no significant differences in opioid use, as measured by urinalysis, by level of pain. CONCLUSION: These data suggest that the presence of pain predicts buprenorphine-naloxone dose levels in opioid-dependent youth, and that patients with pain have comparable opioid use outcomes to those without pain, but require higher buprenorphine-naloxone doses.