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Alcohol. 1996 Jan-Feb;13(1):35-9.

Naltrexone in the treatment of alcoholism: a clinical review.

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Center for the Study of Addiction, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia 19104-6178, USA.


The pooled results from our Veterans Affairs studies are presented for 99 men. The naltrexone-treated subjects reported a reduction in alcohol craving and drinking, as well as less euphoria when they ingested alcohol. Relapse rates were significantly lower for the naltrexone-treated subjects than they were for placebo-treated subjects. Together with the consistent results from other double-blind trials of naltrexone, we conclude that naltrexone is a safe and useful adjunct in the rehabilitation of alcohol-dependent patients. Although administration of naltrexone was shown to improve treatment outcome, subjects who attended all 12 research visits demonstrated larger treatment effects. These data suggest that the use of naltrexone as a pharmacological adjunct to psychosocial intervention is an effective treatment for alcohol dependence. The effectiveness of naltrexone may be improved by designing a treatment program that enhances compliance with the medication.

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