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August 1983

Methadyl Acetate (LAAM) in the Treatment of Heroin AddictsII. Double-blind Comparison of Gradual and Abrupt Detoxification

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1983;40(8):834-840. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1983.01790070024003

• One hundred nineteen patients were admitted to a sixmonth (26-week) prenaltrexone detoxification program comparing abrupt and gradual withdrawal from methadyl acetate (LAAM) therapy. All patients were brought to a maintenance level of 50, 50, and 65 mg (Monday, Wednesday, and Friday). Patients randomly assigned to the gradual group (group G) began a 4-mg/wk reduction the Monday of week 9 and reached zero dosage (placebo) the Monday of week 23; patients in the abrupt group (group A) continued to receive 50,50, and 65 mg until the Monday of week 23, when their dosage was dropped to zero (placebo). All patients were given placebo for four weeks. This study showed the superiority of abrupt withdrawal over this gradual-withdrawal schedule. Forty-six percent of group A compared with 28% of group G made the transition to naltrexone treatment. Severity of withdrawal problems was in no case significantly greater in group A.