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Revista Colombiana de Psiquiatría

versão impressa ISSN 0034-7450


ISAZA, Carlos et al. Evaluation of the Methadone Maintenance Program of the Risaralda Mental Hospital. rev.colomb.psiquiatr. [online]. 2014, vol.43, n.2, pp.96-105. ISSN 0034-7450.

Background: Psychosocial care and methadone maintenance treatment (MMT) are the preferred strategies for the management of heroin addicts, but the results are still unsa-tisfactory, justifying the search and intervention of the factors influencing the response to treatment. Methodology: In order to determine the contribution of demographic, clinical and genetic variables on serum concentrations and response to methadone, we investigated patients on MMT, who were receiving methadone in supervised and unchanged doses at least during the previous two weeks. The age, gender, body mass index (BMI), duration of heroin abuse, addiction to other drugs, criminal background, current daily methadone doses, time spent in the TMM, comorbidity and concomitant medication were recorded. Blood samples were taken for the determination of serum levels of racemic methadone and its R and S-enantiomers, and for typing of candidate alleles of POR, CYP2B6, ABCB1, GRIN1, OPRM1, SLC6A3, DßH and ARRB2 genes, all associated with the metabolism, tissue distribution and mechanism of action of methadone. Methadone quantification was by HPLC-DAD, and the detection of genetic markers by Real Time PCR and VNTR methods. Results: A total of 80 subject volunteers were enrolled, with a mean age of 23.5 (5) years (86% male), all of them were addicts of multiple drugs, 60% with a criminal background, 5.1 (2.9) years taking heroin, and 5.3 (4) months on MMT, and taking a supervised dose of 41 (12) mg/day methadone. The (R), (S) and (R, S) methadone enantiomer trough plasma levels were, 84 (40), 84 (42), and 168 (77) ng/mL, respectively. All genotypes were in Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium. The two urine tests were negative for heroin in 61.3% (49/80) of the volunteers, the decline in cocaine/crack use was 83%, 30% of marijuana, and other psychoactives (inhalants, benzodiazepines, amphetamines) decreased to zero, while the consumption of snuff remained at 93.5% (75/80). Blood concentrations of racemic methadone and its enantiomers were significantly associated with the dose/day of the medication, but none of the other demographic, clinical or genetic variables impacted on serum levels of methadone. As for the results of the MMT, non-users and occasional users of heroin, as well as those who stopped taking other psychoactive drugs, and the ones who did not, were similar as regards the demographic, genetic and clinical variables. This included the blood metahdone concentrations, except for individuals who did not reduce their consumption of other psychoactives other than heroin, who had significantly (P = .03) higher blood levels of S-methadone, compared with those who did stop taking them. Conclusions: There was a significant reduction in the consumption of heroin and other psychoactives, and social rehabilitation of patients. However, the extensive overlap between effective and ineffective doses of methadone suggests the presence of personal and social variables that transcend the simple pharmacological management. These probably need to be addressed more successfully from the psychosocial features, particularly as regards to identifying and overcoming relapse-trigger experiences, as well as certain features of the patient, such as their psychological distress level or their psychiatric disorders.

Palavras-chave : Addiction; Crack; Cocaine; Heroin; Drug dependence; Marijuana; Methadone.

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