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Which Medication Helps Beat Depression in POUD?


Clinical trial compares two medications to treat depression in prescription opioid use disorder

A clinical trial conducted by a team of experts sheds light on how two different medications, Buprenorphine/Naloxone and Methadone, impact the emotional well-being of people struggling with prescription opioid use disorder (POUD). The clinical trial provides valuable insights into whether these medications can also offer relief from depressive symptoms often experienced by those caught in the grip of addiction.

Prescription Opioid Use Disorder

Prescription opioid use disorder impacts both physical health and mental well-being. Alongside the physical struggles, many individuals face feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and depression.

Between 47 and 60 million individuals use opioids for nonmedical reasons, with the highest rate being in North America. Among people with prescription-type opioid use disorder, depression is the most common psychiatric comorbidity, with an estimated current prevalence between 9% and 61%. Opioid use disorder is also associated with an increased risk of developing subsequent depression that persists for decades. Traditional treatments for depression are challenging to implement in POUD populations and hence, new medications are being sought to manage this condition.

Buprenorphine/Naloxone and Methadone

In this clinical trial, two medications took were compared: Buprenorphine/Naloxone and Methadone. These medications are commonly prescribed to help individuals manage their prescription opioid use disorder. They work by targeting the same brain receptors that are affected by opioids, helping to reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms.

Clinical Trial

The trial involved 272 participants suffering from prescription-type opioid use disorder. They were divided into two groups. One group was given Buprenorphine/Naloxone, while the other received Methadone. The researchers closely monitored their progress, paying special attention to changes in depressive symptoms. The depressive symptoms were measured with the Beck Depression Inventory at baseline, weeks 12 and 24.

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The results of the clinical trial were promising and enlightening. Both medications, Buprenorphine/Naloxone and Methadone, showed a positive impact on depressive symptoms among individuals battling prescription opioid use disorder. This means that not only do these medications assist in overcoming addiction, but they also hold the potential to lift the weight of depression that often accompanies the journey to recovery.


This research isn't just about medications; it's about restoring hope and enhancing the quality of life for those facing the challenges of prescription opioid use disorder. By shedding light on the positive effects of Buprenorphine/Naloxone and Methadone on depressive symptoms, the clinical trial offers a beacon of possibility for individuals who are on the path to recovery.


The OPTIMA clinical trial brings us a step closer to understanding the intricate relationship between prescription opioid use disorder and depressive symptoms. By showcasing the positive effects of Buprenorphine/Naloxone and Methadone, the research gives hope to individuals striving to break free from the chains of addiction and reclaim their lives. As science continues to illuminate the path to recovery, it is a reminder that there is a community of support and effective treatments available for those in need.
Sage Journals, Dec-14-22
ClinicalTrial.gov NCT03033732
POUD Resources

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This content is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of such advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. CenTrial Data Ltd. does not take responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. Treatments and clinical trials mentioned may not be appropriate or available for all trial participants. Outcomes from treatments and clinical trials may vary from person to person. Consult with your doctor as to whether a clinical trial is a suitable option for your condition. Assistance from generative AI tools may have been used in writing this article.