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Lofexidine; The New Treatment Alternative?

I thought I’d open up discussion about a new drug that’s most likely going to hit the market in the coming years, called lofexidine. It’s a hypertensive, very similar in structure to clonidine, but supposedly more effective at curbing WD’s and for a longer duration.

Brittania Pharmeceuticals recently licensed US World Meds to sell lofexidine in the US, and it just recently (June 2008), completed Phase III of clinical trials in order to pass FDA regulations. The drug has been used in Britain since 1992 for the treatment of opiate withdrawals. See: http://britlofex.co.uk/

I’ve personally never tried clonidine for withdrawals so I have no idea how well it works, nor do I know if lofexidine is going to do what they say it will. So, I’d love to hear from anyone who’s tried either lofexidine or clonidine. Give us the good and the bad. :)

My view on opiate detox/withdrawal medications is that they only work if they’re used right. When I say “used right”, I mean that you’ve thoroughly done your research to see what the pros and cons are. Remember, pharmaceutical companies are looking to make a profit, so you need to look out for yourself. If you can use lofexidine to find a little comfort, then by all means, get a script. But, make sure you’re aware of all the side effects. If the doc says you need to take it for 3-months, but your research says otherwise, then mention it to him/her.

I don’t think that there’s any medication out there that doesn’t have some sort of negative side effect. Let’s find out what they are for lofexidine, so we don’t jump in blind-folded.

5 comments

1 Krissy { 06.10.09 at 11:29 am }

HI,
Yeah I used the clonidine 2 years ago when I quit opiates. By then I had moved up to chewing oxys all the time. When i was serious about quitting I went to the ER and told them what I was doing. They gave me clonidine,valium and compazine. All the meds helped me alot. I was still miserable but it wasn’t nearly as bad as if I had cold turkeyed it with nothing. The only thing that I hated about the clonidine was if you get up too fast you see stars. Other than that I was able to stay off since. I am on day 759 :)

Everyone out there who is struggling…you can beat this!!

2 Adam { 06.10.09 at 8:41 pm }

Krissy,

Thanks for sharing, and congrats on day 759! That’s awesome!

3 Bre { 08.10.11 at 3:04 am }

I’m thinking about trying to get clonidine. These restless legs and insomnia are killing me. I’m on day 4. Nothing is helping at all. I quit cold turkey 4 days ago. I feel like I’m dealing ok besides at nighttime. Any suggestions at all??

4 Anne { 12.10.11 at 11:11 am }

Krissy, What did you go in there and say at the ER? Were you in WD already?? I am considering this. Thank You! And good luck!!

5 Leanne { 05.30.12 at 2:46 am }

Hi, I live in the U.K and I am on a home detox to come of Methadone using Lofexidine (Trade Name is BritLofex) 0.2mg tablets.
The doctor also prescribed Ibuprofen 400mg tablets for aches and pains and he also prescribed Zopiclone 7.5mg tablets for help with sleep (but advised only to use if it was necessary.
The Lofexidine detox is for around 7 days. (But can range from just 5-10 days depending on the patient)
While doing a home detox using Lofexidine, a nurse has to visit your home every morning to take your blood pressure as the Lofexidine can considerably lower your blood pressure. You should take care when you get up out of a chair or out of a bath as Lofexidine can lower blood pressure and make you feel dizzy.
It is important that you take the correct dose of Lofexidine as told so by your doctor/nurse as the dose has to be gradually “upped” over a couple of days to get the balance right for you. When at the correct dosage for you (normally after 2/3 days) they will slowly reduce the Lofexidine until you are off it completely. This detox is a quick detox.
Having tried to go “Cold Turkey” once in the past “and failed” due to the unbearable withdrawals, I am so glad my drug support worker recommended I tried Lofexidine.
It is the best thing I have ever done in my life and has been a lot “easier” than I originally thought it would be.
Lofexidine/BritLofex is a drug that reduces the effect of the excess noradrenaline that is in your system during a detox. It isn’t an opiate and its only function is to prevent the action of extra noradrenaline in your system. This means that you can’t get dependant on it in the same way as you can with opiates, but it also means that you will get none of the psychological effects of an opiate during the detox.
Lofexidine/BritLofex can be taken as part of an inpatient detox programme or at home.
Lofexidine (BritLofex):
• Reduces physical withdrawals, but doesn’t deal with the cravings for opiates;
• Is non-addictive;
• Has to be prescribed for you by a doctor;
• Makes a quick detox less painful than it would have been with nothing;
• Works better for some people than for others;
• Can be helpful in detoxing from high or low doses of opiates;
• Means that you can stop taking opiates as soon as you have decided that is what you want to do;
• Enables you to know from the start that the detox won’t drag on: Usually just 5-10 days;
• Can make you drowsy;
• Can make you feel faint/giddy;
• Won’t really help you sleep; and
• Can’t be stopped suddenly: (The dose has to be reduced over 2-3 days.)

A Lofexidine detox is much more likely to be successful if you:
• Are certain you want to get off quickly;
• Are ready to cope with withdrawal symptoms (especially in the first 3-4 days);
• Can get support from family and a community support worker/drug advice service;
• DON’T take more than you are prescribed: You will only increase the side effects and you won’t reduce the withdrawals;
• Expect to feel the psychological effects of the detox even thought the physical symptoms may be reduced; and
• Expect to feel bad and not sleep well for at least a fortnight/ maybe longer
I just thought I’d give my story regarding the Lofexidine/BritLofex detox as I am going through it at this very moment. I’m on day 3 of the detox.
I had my last methadone measure on Sunday morning
Monday morning Day 1:- Nurse came to my home to give me my meds and take my blood pressure (which was perfect). She told me what meds to take and when, we had a small chat and answered any questions I had then she left. (To take 4 Lofexidine)
Tuesday morning Day 2:- Nurse took my blood pressure while I as sat down then again when I was stood up, was lower than yesterday but nothing major , upped the Lofexidine by One tablet. (To take 5 Lofexidine)
Wednesday morning Day 3:- Same as Tuesday, took blood pressure and filled out a “checklist”. All is going well (still to take 5 Lofexdine)
Still a few more days to go but at the moment I feel O.K considering. I’ll keep you up to date on the next few days and how it turns out in the end.
Thanks for reading and good luck on your journeys.
Leanne.

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