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Article
March 1977

Withdrawal From Methadone MaintenanceRate of Withdrawal and Expectation

Author Affiliations

Faye Goldberg
From the Department of Psychiatry, The University of Chicago. Dr Thornton is now with the Department of Psychiatry, University of Illinois, Chicago.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1977;34(3):361-367. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1977.01770150119014
Abstract

• One hundred twenty-seven successfully methadone-hydrochloride-maintained patients were randomly assigned to one of the following four groups and studied for 30 weeks: (1) known maintenance-patients were maintained on methadone under open conditions; (2) blind maintenance-patients were maintained on methadone under double-blind conditions; (3) rapid withdrawal-patients were withdrawn under double-blind conditions at a rate of 10% of initial dose per week; (4) gradual withdrawal-patients were withdrawn under double-blind conditions at a rate of 3% of initial dose per week. Differences in dropout rates, illicit drug use, symptoms scores, and requests for study interruption indicate that withdrawal from methadone maintenance should be carried out at approximately 3% of initial dose per week. Better patient preparation also is indicated to reduce the effects of expectation.

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