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J Clin Psychiatry. 1984 Sep;45(9 Pt 2):25-8.

Naltrexone: a clinical perspective.


The narcotic antagonist naltrexone was studied in over 300 opiate addicts. Patient selection was a major factor in determining retention and treatment outcome. Treatment time ranged from 1 week to over a year (mean = 2 months). A quarter of the study patients had multiple treatment episodes. Stabilized patients had few side effects, except for occasional nausea and abdominal cramps. Almost half the subjects tested naltrexone by using opiates at least once; all reported satisfactory narcotic blockade. Very few subjects switched to nonopiates to get high, although several did increase their alcohol consumption during the first weeks of therapy. One-third of subjects contacted in a follow-up study were opiate-free 6 months after stopping naltrexone, indicating a successful short-term treatment modality.

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