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Article
November 1985

Clonidine in Morphine WithdrawalDifferential Effects on Signs and Symptoms

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Alcohol, Drug Abuse and Mental Health Administration, National Institute on Drug Abuse, Addiction Research Center, Baltimore.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1985;42(11):1063-1066. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1985.01790340041006
Abstract

• Reports of an antiwithdrawal effect for clonidine hydrochloride in acute opioid withdrawal are inconsonant with experimental findings that other nonopioids are ineffective. In the present investigation the antiwithdrawal effects of clonidine, morphine sulfate, and placebo were compared in volunteer addicts whose dependence was maintained by 15 mg of morphine sulfate given subcutaneously four times daily. Clonidine was effective but had a differential effect on the signs and symptoms of morphine abstinence. Compared with morphine, clonidine was more effective in suppressing autonomic signs of abstinence but less effective in reducing subject-reported symptoms and discomfort. It is concluded that the perception of the clinical usefulness of clonidine depends on whether objective measures or subjects' reports are treated.

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