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Biol Psychiatry. 2007 Sep 15;62(6):694-7. Epub 2007 Mar 6.

Family history of alcoholism influences naltrexone-induced reduction in alcohol drinking.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, Connecticut Mental Health Center, 34 Park Street, New Haven, CT 06519, USA.



The purpose of this study was to examine the interactive effects of family history of alcoholism (FH+, FH-) and naltrexone dose (0, 50, 100 mg/day) on alcohol drinking.


Ninety-two, non-treatment-seeking alcohol-dependent participants received naltrexone daily for 6 days. On the 6th day, they participated in a laboratory paradigm involving exposure to a priming dose of alcohol followed by a 2-hour drinking period in which they made choices between consuming alcoholic drinks and receiving money.


Total number of drinks consumed during the drinking period was significantly decreased by the 100-mg dose of naltrexone in FH+ drinkers. Secondary analyses in male drinkers (n = 70) indicated that 100 mg of naltrexone significantly decreased drinking in FH+ participants and increased drinking in FH- drinkers.


These results suggest that family history of alcoholism might be a significant clinical predictor of response to naltrexone and that FH+ men are more likely to benefit from naltrexone therapy for alcohol drinking.

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