Potentiation of buprenorphine antinociception with ultra-low dose naltrexone in healthy subjects

Justin Hay, Sophie La Vincente, Andrew Somogyi, Chris Chapleo, Jason White

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    15 Citations (Scopus)


    Previous reports have demonstrated greater antinociception following administration of a buprenorphine/naloxone combination compared to buprenorphine alone among healthy volunteers. The aim of the current investigation was to determine whether buprenorphine antinociception could be enhanced with the addition of ultra-low dose naltrexone, using a range of dose ratios. A repeated-measures, double-blind, cross-over trial was undertaken with 10 healthy participants. The effects of each buprenorphine:naltrexone ratio (100:1, 133:1, 166:1, and 200:1) on cold pressor tolerance time and respiration were compared to the effects of buprenorphine only. The 166:1 ratio was associated with significantly greater tolerance time to cold pressor pain than buprenorphine alone. Minimal respiratory depression and few adverse events were observed in all conditions. These findings suggest that, as previously described with naloxone, the addition of ultra-low dose naltrexone can enhance the antinociceptive effect of buprenorphine in humans. This potentiation is dose-ratio dependent and occurs without a concomitant increase in adverse effects.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)293-298
    Number of pages6
    JournalEuropean Journal of Pain
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2011


    • Antinociception
    • Buprenorphine
    • Drug combinations
    • Human experimental pain
    • Naltrexone
    • Opioids


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