Lalphaacetylmethadol

(LAAM) Acetylmethadol (also referred to as /-alpha-acetylmethadol, methadyl acetate, LAAM or L-AAM) is structurally related to METHADONE. LAAM is a potent OPIOID agonist with properties similar to methadone, except for its prolonged half-life. This slow elimination can be useful clinically, since 50-80 milligram doses of LAAM given three times a week are equivalent to daily doses of 50-100 milligrams of methadone in preventing the symptoms of opioid WITHDRAWAL. Thus, addicts on maintenance treatment would need to come to a clinic only three times a week for LAAM instead of daily for methadone. Since the early 1970s, methadone has been the only agent approved for use in maintenance-treatment programs for HEROIN addicts, but research has shown that LAAM can be a useful alternative. In 1993, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) initiated the legal changes needed to make LAAM available for clinical use.

(SEE ALSO: Pharmacotherapy; Treatment)

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Gilman, A. G., ET AL. (Eds.). (1990). Goodman and Gi/man's the pharmaco/ogica/ basis of therapeutics, 8th ed. New York: Pergamon. Greenstein, R. A., Fudala P. J., & O'Brien, C. P. (1992). Alternative pharmacotherapies for opiate addiction. In J. H. Lowinson, P. Ruiz, & R. B. Millman

Figure 1

LAAM

(Eds.), Substance abuse: A comprehensive textbook, 2nd ed. Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins.

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