Effective and Non-effective Medications Used to Treat OxyContin and Opioid Addiction Abstract OxyContin is an opioid drug approved by the FDA for pain management and has been discovered to be highly addictive. New drugs are needed to deter withdrawal symptoms for people being treated for OxyContin addiction…
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Effective and Non-effective Medications Used to Treat OxyContin and Opioid Addiction OxyContin is an extended release form of oxycodone, which was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 1995 for the treatment of chronic pain. The FDA approval of this drug has played a role in overdose and death, as well as addiction, in the recent past (Okie, 2010). The molecular structure of OxyContin is similar to that of morphine, and is a member of the Phenanthrene family of compounds. OxyContin, or oxycodone, is a schedule II drug according to the Drug Enforcement Agency, and is used to treat moderate to severe pain and is DEA listed as a highly addictive medication. The drug itself, and not the metabolites, is the main cause of analgesia (Trescot et Al., 2008). Oxycodone and morphine were compared for similar psychotropic effects and dosage in healthy humans. It was found that the dosage ratio of oxycodone and morphine was approximately 3:1, as had been established in previous studies, but that the subjects experienced more pronounced psychotropic effects with oxycodone. The relief of pain, however, was similar with both drugs. Psychomotor impairment was similar with both drugs as well (Zacny and Lichtor, 2007). Intravenous administration of oxycodone, hydrocodone, and morphine was studied in healthy individuals to determine effects and potency. It was discovered that all three drugs had similar effects inducing dysphoria. However, potency was determined to be greatest in oxycodone, then morphine, then hydrocodone (Stoops et Al., 2010). The effects of oxycodone were compared to those of lorazepam and morphine in healthy individuals. Psychotropic effects were more pronounced in oxycodone treated patients compared to those treated with lorazepam. Unpleasant effects as determined by the patients were greater in oxycodone treated patients compared to those of lorazepam (Zachney and Gutierrez, 2002). Opioid withdrawal suppression was examined in healthy individuals with tramadol. After a regimen of oxycodone higher doses of tramadol suppressed withdrawal effects, as studies indicated. Feelings of sickness and nausea were initially associated with these effects, followed by suppression of oxycodone withdrawal effects. It was suggested that tramadol may be an effective drug for treating oxycodone withdrawal effects in humans (Lofwall et Al. 2007). Tramadol has low rates of diversion and abuse and mixed pharmacologic actions, including modest opioid agonist activity, and is an unscheduled atypical analgesic. To characterize the opioid withdrawal suppression efficacy of oral tramadol was the purpose of the study. Opioid dependent, residential adults were maintained on morphine for approximately six weeks. Substituting placebo for scheduled morphine doses 17.5 hours before experimental sessions that occurred twice weekly was the method for producing spontaneous opioid withdrawal. Under double-blind, double- dummy, randomized conditions, the acute effects of placebo, tramadol, naloxone, and morphine were tested. Outcomes included physiologic indices, psychomotor/cognitive task performance, and observer- and subject-rated measures. Prototypic opioid antagonist and agonist effects were produced by naloxone and morphine, respectively. Effects most similar to placebo were produced by Tramadol 50 and 100 mg. Tramadol 200 and 400 mg initially produced significant dose-related increases in ratings of “
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