Preliminary buprenorphine sublingual tablet pharmacokinetic data in plasma, oral fluid, and sweat during treatment of opioid-dependent pregnant women
Background: Buprenorphine is currently under investigation as a pharmacotherapy to treat pregnant women for opioid dependence. This research evaluates buprenorphine (BUP), norbuprenophine (NBUP), buprenorphine-glucuronide (BUP-Gluc), and norbuprenorphine-glucuronide (NBUP-Gluc) pharmacokinetics after high-dose (14-20 mg) BUP sublingual tablet administration in three opioid-dependent pregnant women.
Methods: Oral fluid and sweat specimens were collected in addition to plasma specimens for 24 hours during gestation weeks 28 or 29 and 34, and 2 months after delivery. Time to maximum concentration was not affected by pregnancy; however, BUP and NBUP maximum concentration and area under the curve at 0 to 24 hours tended to be lower during pregnancy compared with postpartum levels.
Results: Statistically significant but weak positive correlations were found for BUP plasma and OF concentrations and BUP/NBUP ratios in plasma and oral fluid. Statistically significant negative correlations were observed for times of specimen collection and BUP and NBUP oral fluid/plasma ratios. BUP-Gluc and NBUP-Gluc were detected in only 5% of oral fluid specimens. In sweat, BUP and NBUP were detected in only four of 25 (12 or 24 hours) specimens in low concentrations (less than 2.4 ng/patch).
Conclusion: These preliminary data describe BUP and metabolite pharmacokinetics in pregnant women and suggest that, like methadone, upward dose adjustments may be needed with advancing gestation.