• Article

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.

Citation

Concheiro, M., Jones, H., Johnson, R. E., Choo, R., & Huestis, M. A. (2011). Preliminary buprenorphine sublingual tablet pharmacokinetic data in plasma, oral fluid, and sweat during treatment of opioid-dependent pregnant women. Therapeutic Drug Monitoring, 33(5), 619-626. DOI: 10.1097/FTD.0b013e318228bb2a