The official journal of
EUROPAD - European Opiate Addiction Treatment Association
WFTOD - World Federation for the Treatment of Opioid Dependence
Editor: Icro Maremmani, MD - Pisa, Italy, EU
Associate Editors:
Thomas Clausen, MD - Oslo, Norway
Pier Paolo Pani, MD - Cagliari, Italy, EU
Marta Torrens, MD - Barcelona, Spain, EU
Statistical Editor:
Mario Miccoli, PhD - Pisa, Italy, EU

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Heroin Addiction and Related Clinical Problems: 2011, 13, 4 (pages: 5 - 12)

Self-reported differences in side-effects for 110 heroin addicts during opioid addiction and during methadone treatment

Grönbladh L., Öhlund L. S.

Summary: Although methadone maintenance treatment (MMT) has been shown to be effective, poor compliance is always a threat. It has often been pointed out that one variable that inevitably reduces adherence to treatment regimes is the negative side-effects of the treatment. This study examines seventeen known side-effects in a sample of 110 former opiate addicts consecutively admitted to methadone maintenance treatment. Self-reported side-effects were collected through a questionnaire. Despite the considerable increase, from 23 to 74% of the sample, in the proportion that reported individual side-effects between the period of opiate use and that of methadone treatment, the overall result was a significant decrease in eleven symptoms, no change in four and a substantial increase in only two. In some individuals a symptom that is liable to be problematic actually does become problematic, while the same symptom becomes less frequent in the group as a whole. Weight gain is the symptom that increases most in the whole group and needs to be constantly monitored. Other side-effects that remain high and need to be kept under review in clinical practice are nervousness, decreased libido, daytime drowsiness, constipation and perspiration.


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