Evaluation of buprenorphine maintenance treatment in a French cohort of HIV-infected injecting drug users

Maria Patrizia Carrieri, D. Rey, A. Loundou, G. Lepeu, A. Sobel, Y. Obadia, C. Boirot, A. D. Bouhnik, J. P. Cassuto, M. Chesney, P. Dellamonica, P. Dujardin, S. Duran, H. Gallais, J. A. Gastaut, C. Marimoutou, D. Mechali, J. P. Moatti, J. Moreau, M. NègreI. Poizot-Martin, C. Pradier, C. Rouzioux, B. Spire, F. Trémolières, D. Vlahov

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    43 Scopus citations


    Background: Buprenorphine was approved in France for treating opiate dependence in July 1995 and can be prescribed by general practitioners (GPs). Most studies assessing buprenorphine maintenance treatment (BMT) outcomes have taken place in GP settings. An evaluation of BMT outcomes in patients already followed for their HIV-infection could supply additional information about the changes in addictive practices in a non-GP setting. Methods: We assessed BMT discontinuations and the course of self-reported addictive behaviours and characteristics associated with buprenorphine-injection misuse in 114 HIV-infected patients on BMT who were followed in a hospital-based outpatient department. Results: The continuous series of follow-up visits at which these 114 patients reported regular buprenorphine prescriptions accounted for 237.5 person-years of observation, i.e. 475 follow-up visits. Of the 114 patients on BMT, 43% continued BMT throughout the follow-up, 40% stopped it, and results for 17% were not available either because they did not answer the self-administered questionnaire (5%) or because they were lost to follow-up (12%). Addictive behaviours declined but buprenorphine injection misuse remained stable. Depression measured by the CESD score (RR=1.04 95%CI [1.01-1.06]), cocaine use (RR=2.48 95%CI [1.31-4.68]) and alcohol consumption exceeding 4 alcohol units (AU) per day (RR=2.29, 95%CI [1.17-4.46]) were independently associated with buprenorphine injection misuse among stabilised BMT patients. Conclusions: Despite the reduction in drug injection after starting BMT, buprenorphine injection misuse mainly involves patients with characteristics of severe addiction. Better monitoring of the illicit drug use patterns of patients on BMT may suggest new medical strategies for GPs to improve BMT outcomes.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)13-21
    Number of pages9
    JournalDrug and alcohol dependence
    Issue number1
    StatePublished - Oct 24 2003


    • Buprenorphine
    • Drug maintenance treatment
    • HIV
    • Injecting drug users

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Toxicology
    • Pharmacology
    • Psychiatry and Mental health
    • Pharmacology (medical)


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