Buprenorphine + Naloxone plus Naltrexone for the Treatment of Cocaine Dependence: The Cocaine Use Reduction with Buprenorphine (CURB) Study

Publication Type
Journal Article
Year of Publication
Ling, W; Hillhouse, MP; Saxon, AJ; Mooney, LJ; Thomas, CM; Ang, A; Matthews, AG; Hasson, A; Annon, J; Sparenborg, S; Liu, DS; McCormack, J; Church, S; Swafford, W; Drexler, K; Schuman, C; Ross, S; Wiest, K; Korthuis, P; Lawson, W; Brigham, GS; Knox, PC; Dawes, M; Rotrosen, J
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Date Published
addiction treatment; Buprenorphine; Cocaine dependence; Medication Adherence; Naloxone; Naltrexone; opioid dependence

AIMS: To examine the safety and effectiveness of buprenorphine + naloxone sublingual tablets (BUP, as Suboxone®) provided after administration of extended-release injectable naltrexone (XR-NTX, as Vivitrol®) to reduce cocaine use in participants who met DSM-IV criteria for cocaine dependence and past or current opioid dependence or abuse.

METHODS: This multi-centered, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, conducted under the auspices of the National Drug Abuse Treatment Clinical Trials Network, randomly assigned 302 participants at sites in California, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Texas, Georgia, Ohio, New York, and Washington D.C., USA to 1 of 3 conditions provided with XR-NTX: 4 mg/day BUP (BUP4, n = 100), 16 mg/day BUP (BUP16, n = 100), or no buprenorphine (placebo; PLB, n = 102). Participants received pharmacotherapy for 8 weeks, with 3 clinic visits per week. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy was provided weekly. Follow-up assessments occurred at 1 and 3 months post-intervention. The planned primary outcome was urine drug screen (UDS)-corrected, self-reported cocaine use during the last 4 weeks of treatment. Planned secondary analyses assessed cocaine use by UDS, medication adherence, retention, and adverse events.

RESULTS: No group differences were found between groups for the primary outcome (BUP4 vs. PLB, p = 0.262; BUP16 vs PLB, p = 0.185). Longitudinal analysis of UDS data during the evaluation period using generalized linear mixed equations found a statistically significant difference between BUP16 and PLB (p = 0.022, OR = 1.71) but not for BUP4 (p = 0.105, OR = 1.05). No secondary outcome differences across groups were found for adherence, retention, or adverse events.

CONCLUSIONS: Buprenorphine + naloxone, used in combination with naltrexone, may be associated with reductions in cocaine use among people who meet DSM-IV criteria for cocaine dependence and past or current opioid dependence or abuse. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.