Scotland to expand international recruitment for doctors and nurses

Scotland to expand international recruitment for doctors and nurses

June 22 2018 Activity to recruit doctors, nurses and other specialist health staff will be...

GP trainee round 1 recruitment increases 10%

GP trainee round 1 recruitment increases 10%

June 19 2018 Over 3,000 doctors have been recruited under the current Round 1 GP trainee...

Tier 2 visa cap relaxation for doctors welcomed

Tier 2 visa cap relaxation for doctors welcomed

June 15 2018 Doctors’ leaders have welcomed the Home Secretary’s announcement that...

England will lose more than 600 general practices by 2022, predicts BMA

England will lose more than 600 general practices by 2022, predicts BMA

June 12 2018 The number of general practices in England could decline by between 618 and 777 by...

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Tier 2 visa rules need ‘common sense’ overhaul, says RCGP

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  • Scotland to expand international recruitment for doctors and nurses

    Scotland to expand international recruitment for doctors and nurses

    Friday, 22 June 2018 16:07
  • GP trainee round 1 recruitment increases 10%

    GP trainee round 1 recruitment increases 10%

    Tuesday, 19 June 2018 17:53
  • Tier 2 visa cap relaxation for doctors welcomed

    Tier 2 visa cap relaxation for doctors welcomed

    Friday, 15 June 2018 18:39
  • England will lose more than 600 general practices by 2022, predicts BMA

    England will lose more than 600 general practices by 2022, predicts BMA

    Tuesday, 12 June 2018 12:03
  • Tier 2 visa rules need ‘common sense’ overhaul, says RCGP

    Tier 2 visa rules need ‘common sense’ overhaul, says RCGP

    Wednesday, 06 June 2018 12:56

a syringe imageApril 23 2018

Buprenorphine has been found to have lower rates of overdose death than methadone when used in opioid substitute therapy. The impact was particularly seen in the first four weeks of treatment, researchers from the University of Bristol have found.


Data from 11,000 GP practices indicated that buprenorphine was prescribed for approximately a third of opioid substitution patients, while methadone was used in two-thirds of cases.

“Patients on buprenorphine had substantially lower rates of overdose death during treatment compared to those on methadone: four times lower in the first 4 weeks (0.3% compared with 1.24%) and almost twice as low during the rest of time on treatment (0.18% compared with 0.33%). These differences remained even after adjusting for differences in patient and practice characteristics for those prescribed methadone or buprenorphine,” said the National Institute for Health Research.

“Patients on buprenorphine also had lower rates of all-cause mortality during and immediately after treatment – which may be because patients who are older and have other physical and mental health complications may do better on buprenorphine than methadone.”

Although numbers of patients in opioid substitution therapy are at record levels, the number of drug-related deaths is continuing to rise.

Professor Matthew Hickman, from the NIHR Health Protection Research Unit and Population Health Sciences at University of Bristol, was a co-lead author of the study, published in Addiction. “Our research provides evidence to support a change in the way treatment is delivered that could save lives,” he said. 

“We now need trials in the UK on how we combine different opioid substitution treatments alongside other behaviour change interventions to retain people in treatment long enough to reduce the number of drug related deaths in the population.”

Links:
NIHR announcement    
M Hickman et al. ‘The impact of buprenorphine and methadone on mortality: a primary care cohort study in the United Kingdom’. Addiction. Published online April 19 2018.   

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