Twelve weeks of naltrexone significantly improves drinking outcomes in alcoholics; however, the clinical benefits of naltrexone decline shortly after treatment is discontinued.
The present study investigated whether extended treatment with naltrexone significantly improved drinking outcomes.
One hundred forty-six alcohol-dependent patients received broad spectrum treatment or motivational enhancement therapy and either 12 or 24 weeks of naltrexone. The primary dependent variables were percent days abstinent and percent heavy drinking days.
Using an intention-to-treat analysis, there were no significant differences in percent days abstinence or percent heavy drinking days at the end of phase 2 between patients who received 24 weeks of treatment with naltrexone (chi = 63.23) or patients who received 12 weeks of treatment with naltrexone followed by 12 weeks of treatment with placebo (chi = 65.82). Similarly, the average percent heavy drinking days was not significantly different at the end of phase 2 between the group that received 24 weeks of naltrexone (chi = 21.9) and the group that received 12 weeks of naltrexone followed by 12 weeks of placebo (chi = 22.14). Medication compliance was low in the second phase of the study. Drinking outcomes declined with declining compliance whether patients were taking naltrexone or placebo.
The results of this study suggest that administering naltrexone beyond an initial 12 weeks of treatment may not be beneficial to all patients and should be administered along with close medical monitoring to insure compliance.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This paper is the thirtieth consecutive installment of the annual review of research concerning the endogenous opioid system. It summarizes papers published during 2007 that studied the behavioral effects of molecular, pharmacological and genetic manipulation of opioid peptides, opioid receptors, opioid agonists and opioid antagonists. The particular topics that continue to be covered include the molecular–biochemical effects and neurochemical localization studies of endogenous opioids and their receptors related to behavior, and the roles of these opioid peptides and receptors in pain and analgesia; stress and social status; tolerance and dependence; learning and memory; eating and drinking; alcohol and drugs of abuse; sexual activity and hormones, pregnancy, development and endocrinology; mental illness and mood; seizures and neurologic disorders; electrical-related activity and neurophysiology; general activity and locomotion; gastrointestinal, renal and hepatic functions; cardiovascular responses; respiration and thermoregulation; and immunological responses.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Randomized clinical trials on the effectiveness of naltrexone (NTX) in the treatment of alcohol dependence have produced conflicting results. One possible explanation for these discrepancies may lie in the various psychosocial treatments for which NTX is an adjunct. The goal of this study was to examine the interplay between psychosocial treatment and duration of NTX.
One hundred and seventy-four alcohol-dependent outpatients participated in a double-blind trial where they were randomly assigned to 12 vs. 24 weeks NTX duration and to one of two psychosocial treatments: motivational enhancement therapy (MET) and broad spectrum treatment (BST), a cognitive behavioral therapy tailored to the patient's specific needs. After an initial 12-week period of NTX and psychosocial treatment, half of each psychotherapy condition was assigned to continue NTX for an additional 12 weeks while the other half was assigned to placebo. Patient drinking outcomes were measured for the year following treatment completion. It was hypothesized that the combination of extended duration of NTX and the moderate intensity of BST would be predictive of longer time to a first heavy drinking day than any of the three alternative combinations: MET with short or extended NTX administration or BST with short NTX administration.
The median time to first drink and time to first heavy drinking day were found to be significantly longer for patients who received BST and extended NTX than for patients in the other three groups.
These results may suggest that the kind of psychosocial treatment delivered in combination with duration of NTX administration may partially explain the inconsistent findings regarding the efficacy of NTX in the treatment of alcohol dependence.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To summarize published data on pharmacologic treatments for alcohol dependence alone and in combination with brief psychosocial therapies that may be feasible for primary care and specialty medical settings.
We conducted electronic searches of published original research articles and reviews in MEDLINE, SCOPUS, CINAHL, Embase, and PsychINFO. In addition, hand searches of reference lists of review articles, supplemental searches of internet references and contacts with experts in the field were conducted. Randomized controlled studies published between January 1960 and August 2010 that met our inclusion/exclusion criteria were included.
A total of 85 studies, representing 18,937 subjects, met our criteria for inclusion. The evidence base for oral naltrexone (6% more days abstinent than placebo in the largest study) and topiramate (prescribed off-label) (e.g., 26.2% more days abstinent than placebo in a recent study) is positive but modest. Acamprosate shows modest efficacy with recently abstinent patients, with European studies showing better results than U.S. ones. The evidence-base for disulfiram is equivocal. Depot naltrexone shows efficacy (25% greater reduction in rate of heavy drinking vs. placebo, in one of the largest studies) in a limited number of studies. Some studies suggest that patients do better with extensive psychosocial treatments added to medications while others show that brief support can be equally effective.
Although treatment effects are modest, medications for alcohol dependence, in conjunction with either brief support or more extensive psychosocial therapy, can be effective in primary and specialty care medical settings.
The International Journal of Psychiatry in Medicine 01/2011; 42(3):227-66. DOI:10.2190/PM.42.3.b · 0.89 Impact Factor
Data provided are for informational purposes only. Although carefully collected, accuracy cannot be guaranteed. The impact factor represents a rough estimation of the journal's impact factor and does not reflect the actual current impact factor. Publisher conditions are provided by RoMEO. Differing provisions from the publisher's actual policy or licence agreement may be applicable.