Extended-release meds could help treat alcohol, opioid dependence better
Researchers have suggested that a comparatively new form of a medication for alcohol and opioid dependence that's injected once a month instead of taken orally once a day appears to be significantly more effective than some other medications.
The medication in the study that was found to be more effective than some past approaches was extended-release Naltrexone, which is administered once a month by injection in a medical setting. The research was supported by Alkermes, Inc., the manufacturer of that medication.
Dan Hartung, an associate professor in the Oregon State University/Oregon Health and Science University College of Pharmacy, and lead author on the study, said some of these medications are opioid antagonists, which reduce the euphoric effects of alcohol and some drugs.
Hartung said historically, oral medications for substance abuse have not often been prescribed or found to have a high degree of success, mostly because patients stopped taking them.
He said but there are patients who are committed to treating their problems and data showed that they clearly appear to have success with extended-release Naltrexone, which is administered just once a month.
The new meta-analysis combined findings from five other papers, comprising a total of 1,565 patients who received extended-release Naltrexone compared to other therapies for six months, among nearly 60,000 overall patients - the only comprehensive analysis of its type that has been completed.
The findings have been published in the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment.
(Posted on 15-05-2014)