Anton RF. Genetic basis for predicting response to naltrexone in the treatment of alcohol dependence. Pharmacogenomics 9: 655-658

Pharmacogenomics (Impact Factor: 3.22). 06/2008; 9(6):655-8. DOI: 10.2217/14622416.9.6.655
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    ABSTRACT: Naltrexone, an efficacious medication for alcohol dependence, does not work for everyone. Symptoms such as insomnia and mood instability that are most evident during early abstinence might respond better to a different pharmacotherapy. Gabapentin may reduce these symptoms and help prevent early relapse. This clinical trial evaluated whether the combination of naltrexone and gabapentin was better than naltrexone alone and/or placebo during the early drinking cessation phase (first 6 weeks), and if so, whether this effect persisted. A total of 150 alcohol-dependent individuals were randomly assigned to a 16-week course of naltrexone alone (50 mg/day [N=50]), naltrexone (50 mg/day) with gabapentin (up to 1,200 mg/day [N=50]) added for the first 6 weeks, or double placebo (N=50). All participants received medical management. During the first 6 weeks, the naltrexone-gabapentin group had a longer interval to heavy drinking than the naltrexone-alone group, which had an interval similar to that of the placebo group; had fewer heavy drinking days than the naltrexone-alone group, which in turn had more than the placebo group; and had fewer drinks per drinking day than the naltrexone-alone group and the placebo group. These differences faded over the remaining weeks of the study. Poor sleep was associated with more drinking in the naltrexone-alone group but not in the naltrexone-gabapentin group, while a history of alcohol withdrawal was associated with better response in the naltrexone-gabapentin group. The addition of gabapentin to naltrexone improved drinking outcomes over naltrexone alone during the first 6 weeks after cessation of drinking. This effect did not endure after gabapentin was discontinued.
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    ABSTRACT: Alcohol use disorders (AUDs) are among the most prevalent psychiatric disorders. Epidemiologic studies have shown a high prevalence of concurrent psychiatric disorders among people with AUDs as well as a higher prevalence of AUDs in people with psychiatric disorders than in the general population. Though psychiatric patients with concurrent AUDs are at increased risk for morbidity and mortality, they are commonly undertreated for their alcohol-related disorders. The efficacy of pharmacotherapy for AUDs is well documented. Our paper reviews the common pharmacotherapies available for AUDs and focuses on the available research regarding treatment of AUDs among psychiatric populations with mood, anxiety, and psychotic disorders. Despite the high prevalence of concurrent AUDs and psychiatric disorders, very limited information has been collected using a randomized controlled trial design targeting those concurrent conditions. Several prevalent psychiatric disorders have not been studied when co-occurring with AUDs. Further research of pharmacological treatments for concurrent AUDs and psychiatric diagnoses is urgently needed.
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