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Naltrexone implants after in-patient treatment for opioid dependence: randomised controlled trial

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 January 2018

Nikolaj Kun⊘e
Affiliation:
Norwegian Centre for Addiction Research, Oslo
Philipp Lobmaier
Affiliation:
Norwegian Centre for Addiction Research, Oslo
John Kåre Vederhus
Affiliation:
Addiction Unit, S⊘rlandet Hospital, Kristiansand
Bj⊘rg Hjerkinn
Affiliation:
Addiction Unit, S⊘rlandet Hospital, Kristiansand
Solfrid Hegstad
Affiliation:
Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Division of Forensic Toxicology and Drug Abuse, Oslo, Norway
Michael Gossop
Affiliation:
National Addiction Centre, Maudsley Hospital, and Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, UK
Øistein Kristensen
Affiliation:
Addiction Unit, S⊘rlandet Hospital, Kristiansand
Helge Waal
Affiliation:
Norwegian Centre for Addiction Research, Oslo, Norway
Corresponding
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Abstract

Background

Naltrexone has considerable potential in helping to prevent relapse in heroin dependency. A longer-lasting formulation for naltrexone treatment is desirable to further reduce non-adherence and relapse during treatment of opiate dependence.

Aims

To evaluate the safety and effectiveness of a 6-month naltrexone implant in reducing opioid use after in-patient treatment.

Method

A group of 56 abstinence-oriented patients who completed in-patient treatment for opioid dependence were randomly and openly assigned to receive either a 6-month naltrexone implant or their usual aftercare. Drug use and other outcomes were assessed at 6-month follow-up.

Results

Patients receiving naltrexone had on average 45 days less heroin use and 60 days less opioid use than controls in the 180-day period (both P<0.05). Blood tests showed naltrexone levels above 1 ng/ml for the duration of 6 months. Two patients died, neither of whom had received an implant.

Conclusions

Naltrexone implant treatment safely and significantly reduces opioid use in a motivated population of patients.

Type
Papers
Copyright
Copyright © Royal College of Psychiatrists, 2009 

Footnotes

Declaration of interest

None.

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