Extended-release naltrexone for treatment of alcohol dependence in primary care
The feasibility of using extended-release injectable naltrexone (XR-NTX) to treat alcohol dependence in routine primary care settings is unknown. An open-label, observational cohort study evaluated 3-month treatment retention, patient satisfaction, and alcohol use among alcohol-dependent patients in two urban public hospital medical clinics. Adults seeking treatment were offered monthly medical management (MM) and three XR-NTX injections (380 mg, intramuscular). Physician-delivered MM emphasized alcohol abstinence, medication effects, and accessing mutual help and counseling resources. Seventy-two alcohol-dependent patients were enrolled; 90% (65 of 72) of eligible subjects received the first XR-NTX injection; 75% (49 of 65) initiating treatment received the second XR-NTX injection; 62% (40 of 65), the third. Among the 56% (n = 40) receiving three injections, median drinks per day decreased from 4.1 (95% confidence interval = 2.9-6) at baseline to 0.5 (0-1.7) during Month 3. Extended-release naltrexone delivered in a primary care MM model appears a feasible and acceptable treatment for alcohol dependence.
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