LAAM

LAAM, an opiate agonist, serves to mitigate opioid cravings through its long-acting formula, necessitating administration only once every two to three days. Classified as a Schedule II controlled substance and marketed as Orlaam, it functions by blocking the euphoric effects of heroin and other opiates, thus preventing withdrawal symptoms.

LAAM, initially approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 1993, was introduced as a treatment option for opioid dependence. This approval marked the entry of a new medication aimed at providing a longer-lasting alternative to daily treatments for opioid addiction. However, the path of LAAM in the pharmaceutical market encountered significant hurdles. By 2001, concerns over the safety of LAAM led to its withdrawal from the European market, following reports linking the medication to life-threatening ventricular rhythm disorders. The unfolding of these events underscored the importance of post-market surveillance in the pharmaceutical industry. In 2003, further reflecting these safety concerns, Roxane Laboratories, Inc., the manufacturer of LAAM under the brand name Orlaam, decided to discontinue its production and sale in the United States. This decision effectively marked the end of LAAM’s availability as a treatment option for opioid dependence, highlighting the complexities and challenges in the development and maintenance of medication-assisted treatments for addiction.

LAAM, a medication for opioid addiction, offers an alternative to daily treatments like methadone. Its long-acting nature reduces dosing frequency but requires careful monitoring due to its potency. Although subject to regulatory changes due to safety concerns, LAAM remains a valuable tool in addiction treatment. It’s important to consult specialists for personalised advice and integrate LAAM into a comprehensive recovery plan with counselling and support. Navigating opioid dependency involves understanding diverse treatment options like LAAM and using them cautiously under medical supervision.

Despite its similarities to methadone, including addictive properties, LAAM is not recommended for opiate detoxification due to debates over its dosage and effectiveness, leading to its limited popularity and rare use in the United States. Specifically designed for patients experiencing cardiac issues under methadone maintenance, LAAM requires supervision by a licensed physician for administration, contrasting methadone’s allowance for home use.

LAAM has a longer duration of action compared to other medications, such as methadone. This means that LAAM only needs to be taken three times a week rather than having to take a dose every day. This convenience can be helpful for individuals who may have difficulty accessing a rehab center on a daily basis. Its application presents challenges, including management difficulties and a broader spectrum of patient needs compared to traditional drug rehabilitation treatments. The requirement for professional administration and the prohibition of home use contribute to resistance towards LAAM. Additionally, it is contraindicated for patients who abuse certain substances due to potential sedation enhancement.

Before starting LAAM treatment, it’s important to undergo a thorough medical evaluation. Your healthcare provider will assess your medical history, current medications and any potential risks or interactions. They will determine the most suitable dosage for you based on your unique circumstances. LAAM can also trigger withdrawal symptoms in individuals habitually using opiates, those on methadone maintenance or those treating alcohol cravings with specific medications.

Like any medication, LAAM does carry a risk of Side effects like constipation, insomnia, nervousness and muscle pain necessitate careful dosage management to avoid symptoms of dose accumulation. Given its long half-life, withdrawal from LAAM typically exhibits a delayed onset with symptoms generally less severe than those from opiate medications. However, due to safety concerns, the use of LAAM is gradually being discontinued.

LAAM is a powerful drug and dosages are done in moderation.

LAAM (Levo-alpha-acetylmethadol) is a type of medicine used in the treatment of opiate addiction. Powerful drug used only in moderation. Get help from qualified counsellors.

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    Founded in 2008, WeDoRecover has evolved from an advisory service for addiction treatment into a comprehensive provider of care, following its 2019 merger with Changes Addiction Rehab in Johannesburg. Specialising in connecting patients to top-tier addiction treatment centers in the UK, South Africa and Thailand, WeDoRecover supports individuals globally, including those from the United Arab Emirates and Europe. Accepting both South African medical aid and international health insurance our organisation facilitates access to high-quality treatment for substance and alcohol use disorders, offering individualised care that addresses the physical, mental and social needs of patients.



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