Buprenorphine: A unique opioid with broad clinical applications

Nalini Vadivelu, MD, Roberta L. Hines, MD


The analgesic potential of buprenorphine, a high-affinity partial m agonist, has been a subject of study for several decades. The drug is now widely recognized as being extremely effective in relieving perioperative pain, with little of the addictive potential or risk associated with pure m agonists. Studies have suggested that buprenorphine produces adequate analgesia via almost any route of administration, including transdermal and subcutaneous. It has also been used, with positive results, in the treatment of opioid addiction, and potential remains for research into other roles, e.g., as an anti-inflammatory agent or an antihyperalgesic medication.


buprenorphine, opioid, m agonist, analgesia, perioperative pain, route of administration, addic-tion, withdrawal, detoxification

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5055/jom.2007.0038


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