Comparing the Effects of Methadone, Buprenorphine, and Opium Tincture Maintenance Therapy on Sexual Function

Document Type : Original Article


1 Taleghani Hospital Research Development Committee, Behavioral Sciences Research Center, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran


Background: Opioid use disorder is a major concern to public health, and opioid maintenance treatment on
methadone or buprenorphine is a widely used approach. On the other hand, in recent years, there has been
more regards for the use of opium tincture for detoxification and maintenance treatment of opioid
dependence in certain parts of the world. The purpose of our research was to compare sexual impairments of
methadone maintenance treatment (MMT), buprenorphine maintenance treatment (BMT), and opium
tincture maintenance treatment (OMT) in patients.
Methods: The study sample consisted of opium-addicted men candidates for maintenance treatment in an
addiction quitting clinic in Tehran, Iran, from November 2017 to February 2018. Participants (n = 84) were
randomly assigned to three groups (of the equal number), receiving either methadone tablet, buprenorphine
sublingual tablet, and opium tincture. The average score for sexual function was evaluated using the Arizona
Sexual Experiences Scale (ASEX) at the beginning and after 3 months after treatment.
Findings: Although there was no significant different in ASEX scores between the groups at the beginning
and end of the study (P > 0.05), but the difference was significant in each group in comparing by themselves.
Conclusion: These results showed that sexual dysfunction became better after opioid substitution therapies,
and no differences were observed on sexual dysfunction between the three groups


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