Monday, May 14, 2012

Naltrexone May Help Alcohol-Dependent Smokers

Cigarette smoking predicts more severe alcohol dependence and poorer addiction treatment response. Yet a medication used to treat alcohol dependence—naltrexone—might benefit alcohol-dependent individuals who smoke, a study published online April 30 in Biological Psychiatry suggests.

The study cohort included some 1,400 alcohol-dependent individuals, more than half of whom also smoked. At the end of the 16-week trial, alcohol-dependent subjects who smoked and who received naltrexone had better outcomes than alcohol-dependent subjects who smoked and who received a placebo. Alcohol-dependent, nonsmoking subjects who received naltrexone did not have better outcomes than alcohol-dependent, nonsmoking subjects who got a placebo.

In yet another study, the addition of gabapentin to naltrexone improved drinking outcomes over naltrexone alone in 150 alcohol-dependent subjects. For more information about this study, see Psychiatric News .

(image: grynold/