Self-administration of clonidine, oxazepam, and hydromorphone by patients undergoing methadone detoxification

Kenzie L. Preston, George E. Bigelow, Ira A. Liebson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


The extent to which hydromorphone, clonidine, and oxazepam alleviate the symptoms of opioid withdrawal and the extent and pattern of self-administration of these drugs during methadone detoxification were examined within a residential laboratory in three groups of patients dependent on methadone. Six times over the course of detoxification, acute effects of orally administered placebo and a single active drug (hydromorphone HCI, 3 mg, clonidine HO, 0.3 mg, or oxazepam, 30 mg, all given twice daily) were tested, followed by an opportunity for subjects to self-administer the drug and dose of their choice. Hydromorphone significantly decreased opioid withdrawal symptoms and was more preferred for self-administration than the placebo. Clonidine and oxazepam did not significantly decrease withdrawal symptoms, nor was either drug self-administered significantly more than placebo. Clonidine, however, did induce side effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)219-227
Number of pages9
JournalClinical pharmacology and therapeutics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1985

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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