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Type: Journal article
Title: Relationship between LAAM-methadone preference and treatment outcomes
Author: White, J.
Danz, C.
Kneebone, J.
La Vincente, S.
Newcombe, D.
Ali, R.
Citation: Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 2002; 66(3):295-301
Publisher: Elsevier Sci Ireland Ltd
Issue Date: 2002
ISSN: 0376-8716
Statement of
Jason M. White, Cath Danz, Joanne Kneebone, Sophie F. La Vincente, David A. L. Newcombe and Robert L. Ali
Abstract: Studies of relative LAAM–methadone preference have indicated that a significant proportion of patients prefer levo-alpha-acetylmethadol (LAAM). The present study was designed to determine whether this preference is associated with better treatment outcomes. Sixty-two stable methadone patients participated in a randomised crossover clinical trial. They received LAAM (alternate days) and methadone (daily) for 3 months each, followed by a further 6-month period during which they were free to choose between the drugs. LAAM maintenance was associated with a lower rate of heroin use than methadone maintenance based on analysis of morphine concentration in hair and equivalent health outcomes. The majority of subjects showed a preference for LAAM (n=27, 69.2%) rather than methadone (n=12, 30.8%). The main reasons given for the LAAM preference were that it produced less withdrawal (39.3%), fewer side effects (28.5%), less craving for heroin (17.9%), and entailed fewer pick-up days (14.3%). Those who chose LAAM had lower levels of heroin use during LAAM maintenance, significantly better outcomes on two sub-scales of the SF-36 (Vitality and Mental Health), and reported that they felt more normal and that they were ‘held’ better when on LAAM. For those who chose methadone, there were no differences in outcomes between the LAAM and methadone maintenance periods. Preference for LAAM is associated with treatment outcomes as good or better than those with methadone.
Keywords: LAAM; Methadone; preference; treatment outcome
Description: Copyright © 2002 Elsevier Science Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
RMID: 0020020776
DOI: 10.1016/S0376-8716(02)00007-8
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Appears in Collections:Pharmacology publications

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