Chronic opioid pain treatment converted to buprenorphine: A case series using a 3-step low-dose incremental dosing guideline




full agonist opioid, treatment for pain, buprenorphine, management of chronic pain


We report a 30-case series from the Pain Management Center at the Massachusetts General Hospital where we have applied a guideline to convert chronic treatment for pain from full agonist opioids (FAO) to buprenorphine (BUP). Of the patients, 24 (80 percent) elected to continue BUP over FAO. Five conversions were stopped for side effects (fatigue) and/or lack of sufficient pain reduction. One patient elected not to participate on the day that the conversion was to begin. There were no major adverse events. We conclude that conversion to BUP should be considered as an alternative to treat patients on chronic opioids for pain.

Author Biographies

Gregory Acampora, MD

Assistant Professor Harvard Medical School, Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts

Yi Zhang, MD, PhD

Associate Professor Harvard Medical School, Anesthesiology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts


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How to Cite

Acampora, G., and Y. Zhang. “Chronic Opioid Pain Treatment Converted to Buprenorphine: A Case Series Using a 3-Step Low-Dose Incremental Dosing Guideline”. Journal of Opioid Management, vol. 20, no. 1, Feb. 2024, pp. 51-56, doi:10.5055/jom.0822.