• Benefit-Risk Analysis of Buprenorphine for Pain Management

      Hale, Martin; Garofoli, Mark; Raffa, Robert B. (2021-05-24)
      Health care providers in the United States are facing challenges in selecting appropriate medication for patients with acute and chronic pain in the midst of the current opioid crisis and COVID-19 pandemic. When compared with conventional opioids, the partial μ-opioid receptor agonist buprenorphine has unique pharmacologic properties that may be more desirable for pain management. The formulations of buprenorphine approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for pain management include intravenous injection, transdermal patch, and buccal film. A comparison of efficacy and safety data from studies of buprenorphine and conventional opioids suggests that buprenorphine may be a better-tolerated treatment option for many patients that provides similar or superior analgesia. Our benefit-risk assessment in this narrative review suggests that health care providers should consider that buprenorphine may be an appropriate alternative for pain management over other opioids.