Guest Post: Slow-Release Oral Morphine for Opioid Agonist Treatment

published on June 29, 2017 by Guest in BC Pharmacists

The BC Centre on Substance Use (BCCSU), in collaboration with the BC Ministry of Health, has released a new Guideline for the Clinical Management of Opioid Use Disorder. Effective June 5, 2017, this guideline is the provincial reference tool for all health care professionals in BC involved in treating patients with opioid use disorders.

This is the second in a series of three guest posts from the BCCSU about the provincial guideline.

Guideline Recommendation – Slow-Release Oral Morphine: Opioid agonist treatment (OAT) with slow-release oral morphine (24-hour formulation, brand name Kadian®) – prescribed as once-daily witnessed doses – may be considered for patients who have not benefited from treatment with first- and second-line treatment options (i.e., buprenorphine/naloxone and methadone).

  • Kadian® slow-release oral morphine is available in 10mg, 20mg, 50mg, and 100mg capsules, which may be combined as necessary to achieve prescribed doses.
  • Kadian® slow-release oral morphine is a once-daily, 24-hour formulation. Other formulations of oral morphine that are used for analgesia, such as twice-daily, 12-hour sustained- or extended-release formulations (M-Eslon®), are not recommended for OAT.
BC PharmaCare and Non-Insured Health Benefits Plan Coverage for Slow-Release Oral Morphine (Kadian®) for OAT

As of June 5, 2017 – BC PharmaCare provides coverage of slow-release oral morphine (Kadian®) as an OAT medication for the treatment of opioid use disorder under Fair PharmaCare, and Plans P, C, B and G. Both the drug cost and a dispensing fee are covered up to PharmaCare maximums. Coverage under Fair PharmaCare may be subject to deductibles and family maximums.

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