Naltrexone, also known as ReVia, is an approved drug for the treatment of alcohol dependence. But one of the problems with the drug is it is taken orally, which can reduce medication compliance and can be absorbed differently in the body. A new study looks at an injection of naltrexone and the benefit of its use for alcoholics.
For the study 315 alcoholics participated and they were randomly assigned to get an injection of naltrexone or a placebo. All of the patients also received five therapy sessions during the 12-week study. Researchers looked at the number of drinking days for each person in each group and the number of days until a heavy-drinking day.
The medication was well tolerated and about 74 percent of the patients received all of the injections. While the time to the first heavy-drinking day and the percentage of no heavy-drinking days was better in the group on naltrexone, researchers say it was not a significant difference. However, they say the patients on the drug had fewer drinking days during treatment and a higher abstinence rate during treatment.
This being one of the first studies of its kind researchers feel that further studies are warranted to look at this drug and compare it to the use of the oral version of the drug.