Clinical Efficacy and Safety Profile of Lofexidine Hydrochloride in Treating Opioid Withdrawal Symptoms: A Review of Literature.
Cureus. 2019 Jun 04;11(6):e4827
Authors: Rehman SU, Maqsood MH, Bajwa H, Tameez Ud Din A, Malik MN
Opioid use disorder (OUD) is a rapidly growing challenge worldwide and is characterized by an increase in dependence on opioids up to a point that a person loses control over the drug use. Multiple drugs are approved for its treatment, including methadone, buprenorphine, and diazepam. Although not approved, clonidine is also used for the treatment of OUD. On May 16, 2018, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a new drug lofexidine hydrochloride for the treatment of opioid withdrawal symptoms. Lofexidine is a centrally acting alpha two receptor agonist. It reduces the neurochemical surge by inhibiting the conversion of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) into cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) which in turn decrease the sympathetic outflow. This results in the improvement of withdrawal symptoms. When compared with methadone and buprenorphine, it is equally effective in controlling withdrawal symptoms. Its efficacy is also similar to clonidine with a better side effects profile. The adverse effects of lofexidine include bradycardia, hypotension, orthostasis, somnolence, sedation, dry mouth, and rebound elevations in blood pressure and prolongation of QT interval. Lofexidine is contraindicated in patients who are on beta-blockers and angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors (ACE inhibitors). In our review, we have discussed the clinical efficacy and safety profile of lofexidine in treating opioid withdrawal symptoms and its comparison to other available treatment options.
PMID: 31403015 [PubMed]