Boycott of de-addiction drug affecting patients

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Ludhiana
  • Updated: Dec 25, 2014 12:31 IST

The boycott of use of de-addiction medicine, buprenorphine, by the members of Indian Psychiatrist Society, Punjab and Chandigarh branch, is affecting patients who are under treatment.

The sudden stoppage of this medicine makes withdrawal of symptoms like body aches, loose motion, vomiting, loss of sleep, aggression violence, fit etc on patients.

A patient under de-addiction treatment at Guru Teg Bhadur (GTB) Charitable Hospital said, “My family was so happy that now I was returning to my routine, was going to work and not having any sort of drug, but I am feeling helpless since the time doctors have told me that they cannot prescribe buprenorphine. The other medicine does not suit me the way when doctors told me that they cannot prescribe buprenorphine did.”

Dr Paramjeet Khurana, head, department of psychiatrist at GTB Hospital, said, “We have OPD of nearly 150-160 patients, out of which 60-70% patients respond to buprenorphine medicine very well. We have not stopped their treatment, but as buprenorphine has been boycotted by us, now the patients coming rue not being benefitted by the other medicine.”

Dr Khurana said, “The government should understand that this medicine is not a drug, but a medicine that can stop the use of drugs.”

He said psychiatrist Dr Sudha Vasudev and Dr Ashish, who were arrested from Mullanpur last week with this medicine, should not be treated as drug peddlers. “We will not deny any administrative inquiry and action on the doctors who were doing private practice that too without licence, but there should be no criminal case against them.”

Psychiatrist Dr Rajeev Gupta said, “Stoppage of drug treatment makes negative impact on a patient as he may face problems by its sudden stop. Many drug addicts need long course of treatment, which include buprenorphine also. This is the best medicine for the opium addicts and any other alternative will only be second line of treatment, which cannot be that much effective.”

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