The Role of Methadone in HIV Prevention And Treatment Sharon Stancliff, MD Medical Consultant AIDS Institute New York State Department of Health. Drug Use and HIV. Injection of heroin and cocaine is the driving force behind HIV in New York State. Addiction.
The Role of Methadone in HIV Prevention And TreatmentSharon Stancliff, MDMedical ConsultantAIDS InstituteNew York StateDepartment of Health
Drug Use and HIV
Injection of heroin and cocaine is the driving force behind HIV in New York State
• Opiates interact with receptors for endogenous peptides.
• Short term changes in the dopamine secreting neurons, such as atrophy are documented
• Long term changes are suspected.
•Twin and adoption studies show a strong familial trend in alcoholism
•Addictive disorders are common among the families of heroin addicts
National Institute of Health
“Methadone is the most effective treatment for heroin addiction.”
National Institute of Health Consensus Development Conference on the Medical Treatment of Heroin Addiction
•A synthetic opiate with a 24-36 hour half-life
•Methadone Maintenance Treatment (MMT) was first implemented by Dole and Nyswander in the 1960s as most “detoxed” addicts relapsed to heroin use
•Usual effective dose: 80-120 mg range:5mg- >500 Clinical response guide dose
•80-90% of those stopping MMT will return to heroin use so treatment is long term
•Safe during pregnancy
•No known long term detrimental effects
•MMT is usually accompanied by counseling and sometimes other requirements
•Given a sufficient dose virtually all heroin users will stop using heroin
•At lesser doses heroin use is decreased.
MMT patients are 3-6 times less likely to become HIV positive when compared to out-of-treatment heroin users.
Metzger, Drucker, Gibson, Hartel
•Comparison of opiate users in and out of methadone treatment
•Those out of treatment reported more risk behavior for HIV
•In treatment: 3.5% seroconverted, Out-of-treatment 22% seroconverted
HIV positive heroin users on methadone are hospitalized less often and live longer than their counterparts who are not on methadone
Weber, Newschaffer, Laine
• A fourfold reduction in suicide
• A fourfold reduction in lethal overdose
• Reductions in sex work
• Reduction in crime
• Hubbard, Appel
•Available only in methadone clinics
•Frequent attendance required
•Limited number of slots
•Medical maintenance has been shown to be successful outside of these constraints
•A 1995 study of selected MMTPs found an average dose of less than 59mg
•2/3s of the clinics set a dose ceiling of 80-100mgs
•A 1995 study found that the majority of clinics encourage detox after only 1 year of treatment
•Relapse can be deadly- Zanis found 8.2% mortality among 110 pts. leaving MMTP but only 1.2% among 397 remaining in treatment
•Patients often believe that methadone causes bone or liver damage.
•Physicians may have misconceptions about pain management in methadone patients.
•It is also erroneously believed that MMT leads to cocaine use.
•Social service providers
•MMT patients are discouraged from speaking at Narcotics Anonymous meetings
•Narcotics Anonymous Bulletin
•Many facilities treating cocaine and alcohol abuse bar methadone
•Education of current and potential MMT patients and their families
•Understanding medical issues such as drug interactions
•Working with clinics to ensure the best possible care for patients
DRUGS WHICH MAY LOWER PLASMA LEVELS OF METHADONE
•Phenytoin (Dilantin )**
** Major effect, may require large methadone dose increases
•ethanol (chronic use)
• DRUGS WHICH MAY INCREASE PLASMA LEVELS OF METHADONE (none are major problems)
• Amitriptyline (Elavil)
• Cimetidine (Tagamet)
• Diazepam (Valium)
• Ethanol ( acute use)
• Ketoconazole (Nizoral)
• Zidovudine (AZT) levels may be increased by methadone.
• DRUGS WHICH ARE CONTRAINDICATED
• Pentazocine (Talwin),
• Tramadol (Ultram)