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Effects of buprenorphine on opioid craving in comparison to other medications for opioid use disorder: A systematic review of randomized controlled trials

Craving is a distressing symptom of opioid use disorder (OUD) that can be alleviated with medications for OUD (MOUD). Buprenorphine is an effective MOUD that may suppress craving; however, treatment discontinuation and resumed opioid use is common during the early phases of treatment. More information on the craving response through the high-risk period of initiating buprenorphine may provide meaningful information on how to better target craving, which in turn may enhance outcomes. This systematic review investigated buprenorphine doses and formulations on craving during the induction and maintenance phases of treatment, and for context also compared the craving response to other MOUD (i.e., methadone, extended-release naltrexone [XR-NTX]).

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