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Effects of Buprenorphine on Mood in Adults With a Range of Depressive Symptomatology (BED)

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT02659787
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : January 20, 2016
Results First Posted : May 29, 2019
Last Update Posted : May 29, 2019
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
University of Chicago

Brief Summary:
This study seeks to to study the effects of buprenorphine, a partial mu-opioid agonist, on depressed mood in a healthy young adults with a range of depressive symptomatology.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Depression Drug: 0.2mg Buprenorphine Drug: Placebo Not Applicable

Detailed Description:

It has been shown that opioid analgesics, particularly the mu-opioid partial agonist buprenorphine, have anti-depressant properties in laboratory animal models. In humans, rates of prescription opioid abuse are significantly higher in patients with depression. This suggests that individuals with negative mood states (e.g., depressive states) may respond more positively to opioid drugs. A handful of small studies in in humans have suggested that buprenorphine reduces symptoms of depression in patients who did not respond to standard anti-depressants, and laboratory studies have shown buprenorphine may reduce responses to some types of negative stimuli and enhance responses to positive stimuli. However, a controlled laboratory study assessing potential anti-depressant effects of an opioid medication has never been conducted. In this project, the investigators propose to examine depressive symptomatology as a predictor of subjective mood responses to buprenorphine, using two measures; i) self-reported depressive symptomatology as measured by the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI-II), and ii) physiological indices of depressive symptomatology as measured by heart rate variability. Reduced heart rate variability has been shown to be associated with depression, and such a physiological measure may allow for the detection of more subtle effects than would a self-report questionnaire alone. Healthy volunteers (N=60) will first complete the BDI and provide baseline measures of heart rate variability. Then they will attend two laboratory sessions, at which they will receive placebo or 0.2mg buprenorphine. The investigators have tested these low doses of buprenorphine in previous studies, and they produce measurable changes in mood and behavior in healthy volunteers. The investigators will collect measures of mood and physiological drug response (pupillometry, heart rate, and blood pressure) at regular intervals throughout each session, and will then examine their baseline indices of depressive symptomatology in relation to responses to the drug. The central hypothesis is that individuals with greater self-reported depressive symptoms and lower heart rate variability will experience the greatest enhancement of mood in response to buprenorphine. It is expected that this work will provide a better understanding of which individuals are most likely to experience positive mood effects in response to opioid drugs, and may therefore be at-risk for developing an opioid use disorder. Furthermore, it may lay the foundation for future research in the development of novel opioid-based treatments for depression.

Design: The study will use a 3-session within-subjects double-blind design in which participants will receive single doses of buprenorphine (0, 0.2 mg sublingual) in randomized order. All screening, orientation, and study session procedures will take place in the Human Behavioral Pharmacology Laboratory suite in the L4 wing of 5841 S. Maryland Ave.

Drug and Doses: Investigators will administer placebo, 0.2 mg buprenorphine (Temgesic) via sublingual tablet in counterbalanced order under double-blind conditions. These tablets dissolve within 5-8 minutes. This drug has been approved for treatment of severe pain. The onset of action after sublingual administration is 30 minutes, with a peak plasma concentration at 1/5-2 hours and a half-life of 5 hours. The dose of buprenorphine are very low, and the average maintenance dose for opioid abusers is 8 mg. Doses will be separated by at least 72 hours.

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 38 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Crossover Assignment
Masking: Double (Participant, Investigator)
Primary Purpose: Basic Science
Official Title: Effects of Buprenorphine on Mood in Adults With a Range of Depressive Symptomatology
Study Start Date : June 2016
Actual Primary Completion Date : April 2017
Actual Study Completion Date : April 2017

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

Arm Intervention/treatment
Active Comparator: Low dose buprenorphine
Subjects all receive placebo, 0.2 mg buprenorphine in crossover design
Drug: 0.2mg Buprenorphine
Sublingual buprenorphine tablets (0.2mg)

Placebo Comparator: Placebo
Subjects all receive placebo, 0.2 mg buprenorphine in crossover design
Drug: Placebo

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Subjective Effects as Assessed by Score on "Feel Drug", "Feel High", "Like Drug", and "Want More" Subscales of the Drug Effects Questionnaire Subjective Response With and Without Buprenorphine [ Time Frame: 0 through 3 hours after dosing. ]
    The Drug Effects Questionnaire (DEQ) is a visual analog scale questionnaire that assesses the extent to which subjects experience four subjective states: "Feel Drug", "Feel High", and "Want More". The "Feel Drug", "Feel High", "Like Drug", and "Want More" subscales are reported. All subscales are scored on a visual analogue scale (scroll bar on computer screen) ranging from 0 -100. 100 represents the highest score for that subjective state, and the higher the score, the worse the outcome.

Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 35 Years   (Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Healthy adult volunteers
  • High school education
  • Fluency in English
  • BMI between 19 and 30

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Medical conditions contraindicating study participation
  • Regularly medication use
  • Current or past opioid abuse or dependence
  • Current or past drug or alcohol dependence
  • Psychiatric illness
  • Women who are pregnant or nursing

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT02659787

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United States, Illinois
University of Chicago
Chicago, Illinois, United States, 60637
Sponsors and Collaborators
University of Chicago
  Study Documents (Full-Text)

Documents provided by University of Chicago:

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Responsible Party: University of Chicago Identifier: NCT02659787    
Other Study ID Numbers: 14-0170
First Posted: January 20, 2016    Key Record Dates
Results First Posted: May 29, 2019
Last Update Posted: May 29, 2019
Last Verified: April 2019
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Behavioral Symptoms
Analgesics, Opioid
Central Nervous System Depressants
Physiological Effects of Drugs
Sensory System Agents
Peripheral Nervous System Agents
Narcotic Antagonists