Why do patients need medication for withdrawal symptoms?
If you have never experienced opioid withdrawal, you may want to consider having some sympathy for those who have. Words cannot express how difficult it is to get through the period of withdrawal symptoms. Additionally, it can take days, even weeks, for symptoms to subside. Therefore, to help determined patients get through without relapsing, medications to reduce the severity of symptoms are important. So, lucemyra vs clonidine: which one is best to treat withdrawal symptoms during detox treatment?
What is clonidine?
Interestingly, doctors prescribe this medication to treat high blood pressure. In fact, it has been around for decades. While clonidine is not the first choice for treating high blood pressure because of side effects, it is commonly used for opioid withdrawal symptoms.
So, what is Lucemyra?
Lucemyra, also known as lofexidine, is a new medication in the same family as clonidine. However, unlike clonidine, the FDA has approved Lucemyra specifically for treating opioid withdrawal. In fact, this by itself can be a reason to choose Lucemyra. Many doctors prefer to only use medications that have been specifically approved for a particular use.
Are there other advantages to Lucemyra?
In addition to being FDA approved for treating opioid withdrawal symptoms, Lucemyra does have another advantage. When a patient takes clonidine, there is a risk of low blood pressure. Doctors may feel uneasy about prescribing clonidine for withdrawal sickness, knowing that their patient may experience low blood pressure. This could lead to other serious problems. Lucemyra has the advantage here. There is less of a risk of low blood pressure. Withdrawal symptoms are also more effectively treated according to this study.
Are there any clear advantages to clonidine?
Surprisingly, the fact that clonidine is so old is part of its advantage. Since there is no patent on the drug, there are very inexpensive generics. If a patient cannot afford a drug, it cannot help them. Also, since clonidine has been around for so long, we don’t have to worry as much about unknown dangers. It has stood the test of time.
Lucemyra VS Clonidine: in conclusion…
After consideration of the pros and cons of each drug, it is clear that there is still a place for both. This is a good thing, having a choice. So, if you are not sure which is right for you, make an appointment with your doctor. Have a discussion about the best option considering your specific situation. Opioid withdrawal sickness is very unpleasant, so it is good to know that there are medications that can help to make it more tolerable.
Since writing this article, many people have asked if there is any clear advantage to using Lucemyra over clonidine. The major concern is that it has been said that Lucemyra may be as much as 1700 times as expensive as clonidine. While there are advantages, I believe that for many patients who are suffering from opiate withdrawal after quitting an opiate, such as heroin, oxycodone or others, clonidine will likely be adequate and very nearly as effective as Lucemyra. It is important to have this discussion with your Suboxone doctor because there may be additional medical therapies that can help reduce the severity of opiate withdrawal syndrome. Or, if you are in an abstinence based program and possibly planning to transition to naltrexone or Vivitrol, discuss the issue with the staff healthcare provider.