• Journal Article

Predicting treatment response to Naltrexone: The influence of craving and family history

Citation

Monterosso, J., Flannery, B., Pettinati, H. M., Oslin, D. W., Rukstalis, M., O'Brien, C. P., & Volpicelli, J. R. (2001). Predicting treatment response to Naltrexone: The influence of craving and family history. American Journal on Addictions, 10(3), 258-268. DOI: 10.1080/105504901750532148

Abstract

Naltrexone has repeatedly been shown to reduce drinking in alcohol-dependent patients. Previous clinical research suggests that naltrexone may be more effective at reducing drinking among patients with high levels of alcohol craving at the beginning of treatment. In addition, laboratory studies suggest that naltrexone may be more efficacious among patients with a high familial loading of alcohol problems. We explored both of these possibilities in the context of the first 12-week phase of a double blind, placebo-controlled naltrexone trial. A total of 121 patients were randomized to receive 100 mg/day naltrexone and 62 patients were randomized to receive placebo. Both naltrexone and placebo were given in conjunction with a psychosocial intervention designed to be integrated with the use of pharmacotherapy. This intervention was administered by nurse practitioners. Overall, patients randomized to naltrexone reported drinking five or more drinks on fewer days than did placebo controls (p = .04). Interactions were observed between medication group assignment and both craving level prior to randomization (p = .02) and family loading of alcohol problems (p = .05). In both cases, the interaction was in the predicted direction. These data suggest that patients with high levels of alcohol craving or a strong family history of alcoholism are more likely to benefit from naltrexone treatment. (Am J Addict 2001;10:258-268)