Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1999 Aug;56(8):719-24.

A double-blind, placebo-controlled study of oral nalmefene for alcohol dependence.

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Miami School of Medicine, Fla., USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Nalmefene is a newer opioid antagonist that is structurally similar to naltrexone but with a number of potential pharmacological advantages for the treatment of alcohol dependence, including no dose-dependent association with toxic effects to the liver, greater oral bioavailability, longer duration of antagonist action, and more competitive binding with opioid receptor subtypes that are thought to reinforce drinking.

METHODS:

A double-blind, placebo-controlled trial was conducted to evaluate the safety and efficacy of 2 doses of oral nalmefene for alcohol dependence. The 105 outpatient volunteers were abstinent for a mean of 2 weeks prior to random assignment to the placebo or 20- or 80-mg/d dose nalmefene groups for 12 weeks. Cognitive behavioral therapy was provided weekly during treatment. Self-reported drinking or abstinence was confirmed by determinations of breath alcohol concentration and by collateral informant reports.

RESULTS:

Outcomes did not differ between the 20- and 80-mg dose nalmefene groups. Significantly fewer patients treated with nalmefene than patients given placebo relapsed to heavy drinking through 12 weeks of treatment (P<.02), with a significant treatment effect at the first weekly study visit (P<.02). The odds ratio of relapsing to heavy drinking was 2.4 times greater with placebo compared with nalmefene (95% confidence interval, 1.05-5.59). Patients treated with nalmefene also had fewer subsequent relapses (P<.03) than patients given placebo.

CONCLUSIONS:

Treatment with nalmefene was effective in preventing relapse to heavy drinking relative to placebo in alcohol-dependent outpatients and was accompanied by acceptable side effects.

PMID:
10435606
DOI:
10.1001/archpsyc.56.8.719
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center