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Naltrexone for Opiate Dependence

by James Heller 21. December 2009 08:14
Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles uses Vivitrol for patients with alcohol dependence to reduce alcohol cravings during treatment.  Using this form of medication assisted treatment in alcohol treatment has proven to improve outcomes.  Alkermes, the company that produces Vivitrol, has now completed testing and is in the process of getting FDA approval on an equivalent treatment for opiate dependence.

Considering the success we’ve seen with Vivitrol in alcohol treatment, we look forward to the day we can offer the same treatment for drug addiction.  Opiate addiction covers a wide spectrum of drugs that include heroin and prescription drugs, so this new drug could help a lot of people.

Long time sufferers of heroin addiction who have trouble quitting could finally be relieved of the opiate cravings that lead them to immediate relapse after opiate detox or treatment.  For some patients in heroin treatment there is a feeling of hopelessness due to the strong draw they feel to the drug.  Cravings are the major reason for relapse with this group, leaving treatment impotent to some degree.

Methadone maintenance patients will have an alternate opportunity to finally quit drugs completely.  While this type of medication assisted treatment is effective for many opiate addicts, most of them would like to be free from the bondage of any drug.  They would welcome the chance to try a non-narcotic alternative in opiate treatment.

Those who become addicted to pain medications due to a need for relief after a tragic accident or during a bout with major illness can have this drug built into their treatment.  Once the associated pain is gone and the addiction remains, they could enter medical detoxification and continue on to drug treatment with reduced cravings.  

The scenarios above are only a few examples of the benefits that can come from a non-addictive alternative to harm reduction in opiate addiction treatment.  As we have seen success with Vivitrol, we have every reason to believe this new drug is safe and hope FDA approval comes soon.

A portion of an article posted on Drugs.com is below.  The full article gives more information about the status of the opiate craving reduction medication discussed above.  

-- Begin external content –

Alkermes, Inc. (NASDAQ: ALKS) today announced positive preliminary results from a phase 3 clinical trial of naltrexone for extended-release injectable suspension (XR-NTX) for the treatment of opioid dependence. The six-month phase 3 study met its primary efficacy endpoint and data showed that patients treated once-monthly with XR-NTX demonstrated statistically significant higher rates of clean (opioid-free) urine screens, compared to patients treated with placebo, as measured by the cumulative distribution of clean urine screens (p<0.0002). Based on the positive results of this phase 3 study, Alkermes plans to file a supplemental New Drug Application (sNDA) with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the first half of calendar 2010. XR-NTX, marketed by Alkermes as VIVITROL®, is an opioid antagonist administered once-monthly by intramuscular injection and is approved in the U.S. for the treatment of alcohol dependence. If approved by the FDA for the treatment of opioid dependence, XR-NTX has the potential to be the first and only non-narcotic, non-addictive drug agent available in a once-monthly formulation.

-- Source: http://www.drugs.com/clinical_trials/alkermes-announces-positive-results-phase-3-clinical-study-naltrexone-extended-release-injectable-8443.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+Drugscom-ClinicalTrials+%28Drugs.com+-+Clinical+Trials%29

Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles offers medication assisted treatment as part of our commitment to integrated behavioral healthcare in alcohol and drug treatment.  If you or a loved one needs help for alcohol dependence or drug addiction, please call us now at 888-777-8565 or contact us here.

Southern California Locations for Alcohol and Drug Treatment
Tarzana Treatment Centers has locations all over Southern California in Los Angeles County. Other than our central location in Tarzana, we have facilities in Lancaster in the Antelope Valley, Long Beach, and in Northridge and Reseda in the San Fernando Valley.