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Review: naltrexone reduces alcohol consumption (in the short-term) in patients with alcohol dependence

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 Q In patients with alcohol dependence, are opioid antagonists effective for attenuating or preventing the recommencement of alcohol consumption?

Clinical impact ratings GP/GP/Primary care ★★★★★★☆ Mental health ★★★★★★☆


Embedded ImageData sources:

Medline (1966 to October 2001), EMBASE/Excerpta Medica (1980 to December 2001), CINAHL (1982 to December 2001), Cochrane Controlled Trials Register (Cochrane Library 2001, issue 4), Du Pont Pharmaceutical (Letchworth, UK), Ivax Corporation (Miami, FL, USA), and bibliographies of relevant articles.

Embedded ImageStudy selection and assessment:

randomised controlled trials (RCTs) (published in any language) that evaluated opioid antagonists (mainly naltrexone [NTX] and nalmefene [NMF]) with or without other biological or psychosocial treatments (PST) in people with alcohol dependence and measured relevant outcomes. Study quality was assessed using criteria in the Cochrane Collaboration Handbook of Systematic Reviews.

Embedded ImageOutcomes:

alcohol dependence relapse (including a return to heavy drinking), a return to drinking (including any drinking at all), and discontinuation of medication. Outcomes were reported for the …

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  • For correspondence: Dr M Srisurapanont, Chiang Mai University, Amphur Muang, Chiang Mai, Thailand.

  • Source of funding: World Health Organization.