Major Drop in Pediatric Buprenorphine Exposures When Pills Packaged Individually | Journal Pediatrics


Key Points

  • 78.8% decrease in childhood buprenorphine-naloxone exposures following transition to unit-dose packaging (UDP) from bulk packaging (pill bottle)
  • No decrease in single-entity buprenorphine exposures, which have not transitioned to UDP
  • Switching to UDP for single-entity buprenorphine products may lower future childhood buprenorphine exposure and hospitalization rates


  • Buprenorphine exposure causes most opioid-related hospital admissions in children
  • Pill bottles only prevent 4/5 of children from accessing contents
  • > 80% of buprenorphine-naloxone combo products switched to UDP in 2011-2012
  • NEISS-CADES-based study showed ED visits for buprenorphine-naloxone combo ingestions in children decreased following transition to UDP


  • Observational
  • Data from┬áRADARS System Poison Center Program
  • Surveillance data covers 290 million individuals in USA
  • Primary outcome: Unintentional ingestion in children <6y where buprenorphine-naloxone products (excluding patches and injectables) or single-entity buprenorphine tablets were implicated


Source: Unit-Dose Packaging and Unintentional Buprenorphine-Naloxone Exposures | Articles | Pediatrics