Extended-release naltrexone reduces drinking days and heavy
drinking days per month suggests a study published in the Addiction.
A group of researchers from U.S.A conducted a study to:
estimate the effect of
extended-release naltrexone compared with placebo on alcohol consumption in
patients with alcohol use disorder (AUD)
conduct pre-planned subgroup
analyses to test whether being abstinent when initiating treatment (lead-in
abstinence) or the duration of treatment improves treatment efficacy.
This study was a systematic review and random-effects
meta-analysis of blinded randomized placebo-controlled trials reporting the
effect extended-release naltrexone on alcohol consumption, and included
The researchers conducted a total of seven trials evaluating a
total of 1500 adults with AUD receiving monthly injections of either placebo or
extended-release naltrexone at doses of 150–400 mg for 2–6 months and some form
of behavioural therapy. Pooled weighted mean difference (WMD) in drinking days
per month and heavy drinking days per month.
The results of the study are as follows:
The WMD was −2.0 [95%
confidence interval in favour of extended-release naltrexone for drinking days
per month and −1.2 for heavy drinking days per month, indicating that treatment
resulted in two fewer drinking days per month and 1.2 fewer heavy drinking days
per month compared with placebo.
Trials not requiring lead-in
abstinence and those lasting longer than 3 months reported larger reductions in
heavy drinking days per month; WMD –2.0 and −1.9, respectively.
In all cases, the I2
statistics did not suggest substantial heterogeneity.
Thus, the researchers concluded that extended-release naltrexone
reduces drinking days and heavy drinking days per month compared with placebo.
Reductions are larger with a longer duration of treatment.
A study titled, “Effect of extended-release naltrexone on alcohol consumption: a
systematic review and meta-analysis” by Murphy C et. al published in Addiction.