Faculty: Bruna Brands, PhD

Bruna Brands, PhDBruna Brands, PhD
Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology
Program Director, Collaborative Program in Addiction Studies

General Research Areas: Clinical Pharmacology; Drug Addiction; Neuropharmacology; Psychopharmacology

Clinical and Biobehavioural Studies of Opioid Abuse and Dependence

Opioid addiction is a chronic relapsing disorder associated with significant personal and societal adverse consequences. Methadone is a long-acting opioid that has been effectively used to treat this condition for many decades. However, not all patients do well on methadone. The focus of our research is to characterize individuals who do not do well in treatment by investigating the role played by pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic factors, the influence of co-morbid disorders (such as depression) and other drug use (such as smoking).

A second focus of our research is to look at the changing face of opioid addiction vis-a-vis prescription opioid pain relievers.

Selected Publications: 

Brands B, Paglia-Boak A, Sproule BA, Leslie K, Adlaf EM. Nonmedical use of opioid analgesics among Ontario students. Can Fam Physician. 2010 Mar; 56(3):256-62.

Elkader A, Brands B, Dunn E, Selby P and Sproule BA. Major depressive disorder and patient satisfaction in relation to methadone pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics in stabilized methadone maintenance patients. J Clinical Psychopharmacol. 2009; 29(1):77-81.

Sproule BA, Brands B, Li Selina and Catz-Biro L. Changing patterns in opioid addiction: Characterizing users of Oxycontin® and other prescription opioids. Can. Fam. Phys. 2009; 55(1): 68-69.

Elkader A, Brands B, Selby P and Sproule BA. Methadone-nicotine interactions in methadone maintenance treatment patients.  J Clin. Psychopharmacol. 2009; 29 (3): 231-238.

Toneatto T, Brands B and Selby P.  A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of naltrexone in the treatment of concurrent alcohol abuse/dependence and pathological gambling. Am J Addict. 2009; 18(3): 219-225.

Anstice S, Strike C and Brands B. Supervised methadone consumption: client issues and stigma. Substance Use and Misuse. 2009; 44(6):794-808.

Elkader A, Brands B, Zack M, Callaghan R and Sproule BA. Exploring the relationship between perceived inter-dose opioid withdrawal and patient characteristics in methadone maintenance treatment. Drug and Alcohol Depend. 2009; 105: 209-214.

Brands B, Blake J, Marsh DC, Sproule BA, Jeyapalan R and Li Selina. The impact of benzodiazepine use on methadone maintenance treatment outcome. J Addictive Dis.2008; 27(3): 37-48.

Adlaf EM, Paglia-Boak A and Brands B. Use of Oxycontin by adolescent students. Can Med Assoc J. 2006; 174(9):1303.

Brands B, Leslie K, Catz-Biro L and Li Selina. Heroin use and barriers to Tteatment in street involved youth. Addiction Research and Theory. 2005;13(5):477-487.

Brands B, Marsh D, Busto U and MacDonald, A. Comparison of heroin and hydromorphone in opioid users. Clin. Pharm. Ther. 2004;75(2):P3.

Brands B, Blake J, Sproule BA, Gourlay D and Busto U. Prescription opioid use in patients presenting for methadone maintenance treatment. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2004; 73(2):199-207.

Brands B, Blake J and Marsh DC. Impact of methadone program philosophy changes on early treatment outcomes. J Addictive Dis. 2003; 22(3):19-38.

Brands B, Blake J and Marsh DC. Changing patient characteristics with increased methadone maintenance availability. Drug and Alcohol Depend. 2002; 66(1):11-20.

Contact Address:
Center for Addiction & Mental Health
Addiction Research Foundation Site
Rm T407
33 Russell Street
Toronto, ON
M5S 2S1
Telephone: 416-535-8501, Ext: 36860
FAX: 416-595-6831
Email: bruna.brands@camh.ca