A randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, efficacy study of nalmefene, as-needed use, in patients with alcohol dependence.

Neurosciences Institute, Hospital Clinic, Barcelona, Spain. Electronic address: .
European neuropsychopharmacology: the journal of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology (Impact Factor: 5.4). 04/2013; DOI: 10.1016/j.euroneuro.2013.02.006
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT This study evaluated the efficacy of as-needed use of the opioid system modulator nalmefene in reducing alcohol consumption in patients with alcohol dependence. Seven hundred and eighteen patients (placebo=360; nalmefene=358), ≥18 years of age, with a diagnosis of alcohol dependence, ≥6 heavy drinking days and an average alcohol consumption ≥WHO medium drinking risk level in the 4 weeks preceding screening, were randomised (1:1) to 24 weeks of as-needed placebo or nalmefene 18mg/day. The co-primary efficacy analyses showed a significantly superior effect of nalmefene compared to placebo in the change from baseline to month 6 in heavy drinking days (group difference: -1.7 days/month [95% CI -3.1; -0.4]; p=0.012) and a better but not significant effect in reducing total alcohol consumption (group difference: -5.0g/day last month [95% CI -10.6; 0.7]; p=0.088). A subgroup analysis showed that patients who did not reduce their drinking prior to randomisation benefitted more from nalmefene. Improvements in Clinical Global Impression and reductions in liver enzymes were greater in the nalmefene group than in the placebo group. Adverse events were more common with nalmefene; the incidence of adverse events leading to dropout was similar in both groups. This study provides evidence for the efficacy of nalmefene, which constitutes a new pharmacological treatment paradigm in terms of treatment goal (reduced drinking) and dosing regimen (as-needed), in alcohol dependent patients unable to reduce alcohol consumption on their own.


Available from: Ugo Lancia, Dec 18, 2014
1 Follower
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Objective: To investigate safety and tolerability of nalmefene for reduction of alcohol consumption in alcohol-dependent patients. Methods: Pooled data from three randomized, placebo-controlled studies (two 6-month; one 12-month) of 18 mg nalmefene (as-needed use) in alcohol-dependent patients looking at the total population (placebo n = 824, nalmefene n = 1123) and patients with high/very high drinking risk levels at screening and randomization (target population: placebo n = 374, nalmefene n = 450). Results: In the study, 62.7% of patients on placebo and 74.7% on nalmefene in the total population had treatment-emergent adverse events (TEAEs). Fourty-seven (5.9%) on placebo and 149 (13.0%) on nalmefene dropped out due to TEAEs. Thirty-five (4.4%) on placebo and 57 (5.0%) on nalmefene had serious adverse events. Tolerability and safety were similar in the target population and total population. Most frequent TEAEs were transient, mainly occurring at treatment initiation. There was no difference in tolerability and safety if nalmefene was taken daily or intermittently; no signal of increased risk of suicide-related behavior with nalmefene. The higher incidence of psychiatric events in the nalmefene group was mainly due to the TEAE of confusional state. Conclusions: Although there was a higher incidence of TEAEs and TEAEs leading to dropout, nalmefene was well-tolerated and no major safety issues were identified.
    Expert Opinion on Drug Safety 02/2015; 29(4):1-10. DOI:10.1517/14740338.2015.1011619 · 2.74 Impact Factor
  • L Encéphale 11/2014; DOI:10.1016/j.encep.2014.10.012 · 0.60 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: During many years in France, risk reduction strategies for substance abuse concerned prevention strategies in the general population or interventions near users of illicit substances. In this spirit, the reduction of consumption only concerned opiate addicts. With regard to alcohol, the prevention messages relative to controlled consumption were difficult to transmit because of the importance of this product in the culture of the country. In addition, methods of treatment of alcoholism rested on the dogma of abstinence. Several factors have recently led to an evolution in the treatment of alcohol use disorders integrating the reduction of consumption in strategies. Strategies for reducing consumption should aim for consumption below recommended thresholds (two drinks per day for women, three for the men) or, at least, in that direction. It must also be supported by pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy, which offer possibilities. Failure to manage reduction will allow the goals to be revisited and to reconsider abstinence. Finally this evolution or revolution is a new paradigm carried in particular by a pragmatic approach of the disease and new treatments. The aims of this article are to give elements of comprehension relating to the evolution of the practices in France in prevention and treatment of alcohol use disorders and in particular with regard to the reduction of consumption.
    International journal of environmental research and public health 11/2014; 11(11):11664-11675. DOI:10.3390/ijerph111111664 · 1.61 Impact Factor