12 articles this month.
1) Effectiveness of Naltrexone in the Prevention of Delayed Respiratory Arrest in Opioid-Naive Methadone-Intoxicated Patients.
Aghabiklooei A, Hassanian-Moghaddam H, Zamani N, Shadnia S, Mashayekhian M, Rahimi M, Nasouhi S, Ghoochani A.
Biomed Res Int. 2013;2013:903172. Epub 2013 Sep 9.
Comments: Interesting use of the long-acting opioid antagonist naltrexone in this study from Iran. The likely downside of this approach of course is that, in those with opioid dependence (constituting the vast majority of overdose cases), it doesn’t allow for titration of antagonist effect to minimize withdrawal symptoms.
2) An investigation of the interactions between methadone and elvitegravir/cobicistat in subjects receiving chronic methadone maintenance.
Bruce RD, Winkle P, Custodio JM, Wei X, Rhee MS, Kearney BP, Ramanathan S, Friedland GH.
Antimicrob Agents Chemother.2013 Sep 30. [Epub ahead of print]
Comments: This is a promising finding for the new HIV regimen.
3) Interaction of Different Antidepressants with Acute and Chronic Methadone in Mice, and Possible Clinical Implications.
Schreiber S, Barak Y, Hostovsky A, Baratz-Goldstein R, Volis I, Rubovitch V, Pick CG.
J MolNeurosci.2013 Sep 22. [Epub ahead of print]
Comments: Really interesting study, since many opioid overdoses occur in the presence of anti-depressant medications. These results are too preliminary to draw strong conclusions, but it’s an important pursuit.
Green TC, Zaller N, Palacios WR, Bowman SE, Ray M, Heimer R, Case P.
Drug Alcohol Depend.2013 Sep 2.doi:pii: S0376-8716(13)00334-7. 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2013.08.018. [Epub ahead of print]
Comments: Interesting qualitative analysis of police attitudes toward lay naloxone.
Meshesha LZ, Tsui JI, Liebschutz JM, Crooks D, Anderson BJ, Herman DS, Stein MD.
Addict Behav. 2013 Aug 14;38(12):2884-2887. doi:
Comments: More days of heroin use is associated with worse self-reported health and worse self-reported health is associated with non-fatal overdose events.
Lee WK, Ti L, Hayashi K, Kaplan K, Suwannawong P, Wood E, Kerr T.
Subst Abuse Treat Prev Policy. 2013 Sep 10;8(1):32. [Epub ahead of print]
Comments: This is a useful contribution to overdose literature. There has long been a concern that people who require assistance to inject (often women) would overdose more. This hasn’t held up in studies and this study corroborates that lack of association. It may be well worth exploring further, but thus far we don’t have any evidence that assistance with injecting increases overdose risk.
[No authors listed]
Emerg Med J. 2013 Oct;30(10):860. doi: 10.1136/emermed-2013-203100.3.
Comments: Yes, in breathing patients.
[No authors listed]
Lancet. 2013 Sep 7;382(9895):833. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(13)61844-9. No abstract available.
Comments: Brief commentary on opioid overdose mortality in UK and US. Notable that there is no mention of naloxone.
9) [Maintaining opioid abstinence long after inpatient treatment with opioid substitution in an addictology hospital unit].
Bouab O, Lahmek P, Meunier N, Aubin HJ, Michel L.
Rev Med Brux. 2013 May-Jun;34(3):132-40. French.
Comments: Basically inpatient withdrawal from agonist maintenance treatment.
10) The pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic interactions between buprenorphine/naloxone and elvitegravir/cobicistat in subjects receiving chronic buprenorphine/naloxone treatment.
Bruce RD, Winkle P, Custodio JM, Wei LX, Rhee MS, Kearney BP, Ramanathan S, Friedland GH.
J Acquir Immune DeficSyndr. 2013 Aug 1;63(4):480-4. doi: 10.1097/QAI.0b013e3182961d31.
Comments: The new combined HIV med (Stribild) modestly increases buprenorphine levels.
Arora A, Williams K.
Acute Med. 2013;12(1):51-4. Review.
Comments: Methadone maintenance review.
Harris JL, Lorvick J, Wenger L, Wilkins T, Iguchi MY, Bourgois P, Kral AH.
J Urban Health. 2013 Apr;90(2):299-306. doi: 10.1007/s11524-012-9720-8.
Comments: Another useful contribution – infrequent heroin injectors had a lower risk of non-fatal overdose. As with most overdose epidemiology, the relationship between use frequency and overdose risk is likely complex.