A common procedure for those looking to treat pain with an opioid dependence is administering buprenorphine for chronic pain management. Both types of pain — acute and chronic — is an issue that affects many types of patients in primary care. Physicians who can prescribe buprenorphine find that patients will normally approach them for its use in chronic pain management.
But what is Buprenorphine? Learn more about this treatment and how doctors prescribe it to help with chronic pain management.
What is Buprenorphine
Buprenorphine is a medication used to treat those with an addiction to opioids. It can be administered inside a physician’s office or dispensed for take-home use, by prescription. The safety profile of buprenorphine makes it a highly attractive treatment for those addicted to opioids.
The primary difference of Buprenorphine as opposed to other opioids is that it is a partial opioid agonist. This means that it activates certain receptors in the brain, but to a certain extent. Rather than emitting a full opioid effect, buprenorphine has a much lesser degree. However, buprenorphine also acts as an antagonist, meaning it blocks other opioids. This makes it a great option for those struggling with opioid dependence to slowly wean off the effects and block out cravings.
Can Doctors Prescribe Buprenorphine for Chronic Pain Management?
Doctors can prescribe and administer buprenorphine for chronic pain management. Since buprenorphine is FDA-approved for use, primary care physicians are approved to prescribe patients a 7-day buprenorphine transdermal patch for treatment of long-term, moderate-to-severe chronic pain.
These patches are available in 5,10, and 20 ?g/hour strengths (depending on the patient’s needs and requirements). The pain types that buprenorphine helps out extends from cancer-related pain to neuropathic-related pain.
However, this treatment type is only for those with an opioid dependence. There are no studies or cases for pain relief in non-opioid dependence pain patients. In low to medium doses, buprenorphine will activate the opioid receptors in the body. The effects do reach a ceiling that is unlikely to push the feelings of “high” past a certain limit. In higher doses, buprenorphine will act as an antagonist and limit the “high”. Therefore, these weak effects do not do much for those without an opioid dependence.
Related Content: An Extensive Guide to: What are Opiate-Induced Symptoms?
For patients who are struggling with opioid dependence and require help to relieve their chronic pain, buprenorphine may be a viable option. However, this procedure should only be administered if your primary care physician recommends it. Speak with your doctor today to see if this option is available and the right procedure for you.
To learn more about our chronic pain management program, you can visit our chronic pain management page here.