Problem drinking and low-dose naltrexone-assisted opioid detoxification.
ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE:The influence of alcohol use on opioid dependence is a major problem that warrants a search for more effective treatment strategies. The addition of very-low-dose naltrexone (VLNTX) to methadone taper was recently associated with reduced withdrawal intensity during detoxification. In a secondary analysis of these data, we sought to determine whether problem drinking affects detoxification outcomes and whether symptoms are influenced by VLNTX use. METHOD:Opioid-dependent patients (N = 174) received naltrexone (0.125 or 0.250 mg/day) or placebo in a double-blind, randomized design during methadone-based, 6-day inpatient detoxification. Alcohol consumption was assessed at admission using the Addiction Severity Index and selfreport. Outcome measures were opioid withdrawal intensity, craving, and retention in treatment. RESULTS:Problem drinking-opioid dependent patients (n = 79) showed episodic heavy alcohol use and reported increased subjective opioid withdrawal intensity (p = .001), craving (p = .001), and significantly lower rate of retention in treatment (p = .02). Individuals with problem drinking and opioid dependence who were treated with VLNTX (n = 55) showed reduced withdrawal (p = .05) and a lower rate of treatment discontinuation (p = .03), resuming alcohol intake in smaller numbers the day following discharge (p = .03). Treatment effects were more pronounced on anxiety, perspiration, shakiness, nausea, stomach cramps, and craving. There were no group differences in use of adjuvant medications and no treatment-related adverse events. CONCLUSIONS:Heavy drinking is associated with worse opioid detoxification outcomes. The addition of VLNTX is safe and is associated with reduced withdrawal symptoms and better completion rate in these patients. Further studies should explore the use of VLNTX in detoxification and long-term treatment of combined alcohol-opioid dependence and alcohol dependence alone.
Project description:The relevance of tobacco use in opioid addiction (OA) has generated a demand for available and more effective interventions. Thus, further analysis of less explored nicotine-opioid clinical interactions is warranted.A post-hoc analysis of OA participants in a double-blind, randomized very low dose naltrexone (VLNTX) inpatient detoxification trial evaluated measures of opioid withdrawal and tobacco use. Intreatment smokers were compared with nonsmokers, or smokers who were not allowed to smoke.A total of 141 (81%) of 174 OA participants were smokers, all nicotine-dependent. Inpatient smoking was a predictor of opioid withdrawal discomfort. Intreatment smokers (n = 96) showed significantly higher opioid craving (F = 3.7, p < .001) and lower detoxification completion rate (?(2) = 7.9, p < .02) compared with smokers who were not allowed to smoke (n = 45) or nonsmokers (n = 33). Smoking during treatment was associated with more elevated cigarette craving during detoxification (F = 4.1, p < .001) and a higher number of cigarettes smoked at follow-up (F = 3.6, p < .02). Among intreatment smokers, VLNTX addition to methadone taper was effective in easing opioid withdrawal and craving more than other treatments, whereas the combination VLNTX-clonidine was associated with significantly reduced cigarette craving and smoking during detoxification.Failure to address tobacco use may negatively affect pharmacologically managed opioid discontinuation. Opioid detoxification may offer a window of opportunity to expand smoking cessation treatment, hence improving OA outcomes. The observed effects support testing of VLNTX-clonidine in smoking cessation trials among individuals with or without substance abuse.
Project description:Although withdrawal severity and treatment completion are the initial focus of opioid detoxification, post-detoxification outcome better defines effective interventions. Very low dose naltrexone (VLNTX) in addition to methadone taper was recently associated with attenuated withdrawal intensity during detoxification. We describe the results of a seven-day follow-up evaluation of 96 subjects who completed inpatient detoxification consisting of the addition of VLNTX (0.125 or 0.250 mg per day) or placebo to methadone taper in a double blind, randomized investigation. Individuals receiving VLNTX during detoxification reported reduced withdrawal and drug use during the first 24 hours after discharge. VLNTX addition was also associated with higher rates of negative drug tests for opioids and cannabis and increased engagement in outpatient treatment after one week. Further studies are needed to test the utility of this approach in easing the transition from detoxification to various follow-up treatment modalities designed to address opioid dependence.
Project description:The management of withdrawal absorbs substantial clinical efforts in opioid dependence (OD). The real challenge lies in improving current pharmacotherapies. Although widely used, clonidine causes problematic adverse effects and does not alleviate important symptoms of opioid withdrawal, alone or in combination with the opioid antagonist naltrexone. Very low-dose naltrexone (VLNTX) has been shown to attenuate withdrawal intensity and noradrenaline release following opioid agonist taper, suggesting a combination with clonidine may result in improved safety and efficacy.We investigated the effects of a VLNTX-clonidine combination in a secondary analysis of data from a double-blind, randomized opioid detoxification trial.Withdrawal symptoms and treatment completion were compared following VLNTX (.125 or .25 mg/day) and clonidine (.1-.2 mg q6h) in 127 individuals with OD undergoing 6-day methadone inpatient taper at a community program.VLNTX was more effective than placebo or clonidine in reducing symptoms and signs of withdrawal. The use of VLNTX in combination with clonidine was associated with attenuated subjective withdrawal compared with each medication alone, favoring detoxification completion in comparison with clonidine or naltrexone placebo. VLNTX/clonidine was effective in reducing symptoms that are both undertreated and well controlled with clonidine treatment and was not associated with significant adverse events compared with other treatments.Preliminary results elucidate neurobiological mechanisms of OD and support the utility of controlled studies on a novel VLNTX + low-dose clonidine combination for the management of opioid withdrawal.
Project description:Withdrawal syndrome is one of the initial focuses of opioid detoxification. Very low dose naltrexone (VLNTX) has been found to reduce opioid tolerance and dependence in animal and human clinical studies. The aim of this study was to determine the safety and efficacy of VLNTX during early stages of detoxification. In a multi-arm parallel, double-blind, randomized controlled trial, 63 opioid-dependent male participants referring to Imam Reza Rehabilitation Center were allocated to three equal groups using block randomization method. They received 0.125 mg, 0.250 mg of VLNTX or placebo daily for 10 days, together with the routine clonidine-based protocol. Self-reported and observer ratings of withdrawal severity and adverse events were measured on the 1st, 4th and 10th day of treatment. Runny eyes (<i>p</i>?=?0.006), anxiety (<i>p</i>?=?0.031) and dehydration (<i>p</i>?=?0.014) were reduced during the whole 10 days in the 0.125 mg VLNTX-treated group compared to placebo. Only drowsiness (<i>p</i>?=?0.043) and dysphoric mood (<i>p</i>?<?0.001) were reduced in the 0.250 mg VLNTX-treated group. Results of 1st, 4th, and 10th-day assessment showed that most symptoms reductions were for the 0.125 mg VLNTX and the placebo group in the 1st and 4th days, respectively. On the 10th day, there was not any significant difference between 0.250 mg VLNTX-treated group and placebo group. No adverse effect was observed. In the starting days of detoxification, VLNTX can reduce the withdrawal symptoms, but the efficacy declined by passing time. Further studies are needed to test the utility of this new therapeutic approach.
Project description:Ibogaine may be effective for transitioning opioid and cocaine dependent individuals to sobriety. American and European self-help groups provided public testimonials that ibogaine alleviated drug craving and opioid withdrawal symptoms after only a single dose administration. Preclinical studies in animal models of addiction have provided proof-of-concept evidence in support of these claims. However, the purported therapeutic benefits of ibogaine are based on anecdotal reports from a small series of case reports that used retrospective recruitment procedures. We reviewed clinical results from an open label case series (<i>N</i> = 191) of human volunteers seeking to detoxify from opioids or cocaine with medical monitoring during inpatient treatment. Whole blood was assayed to obtain pharmacokinetic measures to determine the metabolism and clearance of ibogaine. Clinical safety data and adverse events (AEs) were studied in male and female subjects. There were no significant adverse events following administration of ibogaine in a dose range that was shown to be effective for blocking opioid withdrawal symptoms in this study. We used multi-dimensional craving questionnaires during inpatient detoxification to test if ibogaine was effective in diminishing heroin and cocaine cravings. Participants also completed standardized questionnaires about their health and mood before and after ibogaine treatment, and at program discharge. One-month follow-up data were reviewed where available to determine if ibogaine's effects on drug craving would persist outside of an inpatient setting. We report here that ibogaine therapy administered in a safe dose range diminishes opioid withdrawal symptoms and reduces drug cravings. Pharmacological treatments for opioid dependence include detoxification, narcotic antagonists and long-term opioid maintenance therapy. Our results support product development of single oral dose administration of ibogaine for the treatment of opioid withdrawal during medically supervised detoxification to transition drug dependent individuals to abstinence.
Project description:The upregulation of glutamatergic excitatory neurotransmission is thought to be partly responsible for the acute withdrawal symptoms and craving experienced by alcohol-dependent patients. Most physiological evidence supporting this hypothesis is based on data from animal studies. In addition, clinical data show that GABAergic and anti-glutamatergic drugs ameliorate withdrawal symptoms, offering indirect evidence indicative of glutamatergic hyperexcitability in alcohol-dependent subjects. We used proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy to quantify the glutamate (Glu) levels in healthy control subjects and in alcohol-dependent patients immediately after detoxification. The volumes of interest were located in the nucleus accumbens (NAcc) and the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), which are two brain areas that have important functions in reward circuitry. In addition to Glu, we quantified the levels of combined Glu and glutamine (Gln), N-acetylaspartate, choline-containing compounds, and creatine. The Glu levels in the NAcc were significantly higher in patients than in controls. Craving, which was measured using the Obsessive Compulsive Drinking Scale, correlated positively with levels of combined Glu and Gln in the NAcc and in the ACC. The levels of all other metabolites were not significantly different between patients and controls. The increased Glu levels in the NAcc in alcohol-dependent patients shortly after detoxification confirm the animal data and suggest that striatal glutamatergic dysfunction is related to ethanol withdrawal. The positive correlation between craving and glutamatergic metabolism in both key reward circuitry areas support the hypothesis that the glutamatergic system has an important role in the later course of alcohol dependence with respect to abstinence and relapse.
Project description:Most patients relapse to opioids within one month of opioid agonist detoxification, making the antecedents and parallel processes of first use critical for investigation. Craving and withdrawal are often studied in relationship to opioid outcomes, and a novel analytic strategy applied to these two phenomena may indicate targeted intervention strategies.Specifically, this secondary data analysis of the Prescription Opioid Addiction Treatment Study used a discrete-time mixture analysis with time-to-first opioid use (survival) simultaneously predicted by craving and withdrawal growth trajectories. This analysis characterized heterogeneity among prescription opioid-dependent individuals (N=653) into latent classes (i.e., latent class analysis [LCA]) during and after buprenorphine/naloxone stabilization and taper.A 4-latent class solution was selected for overall model fit and clinical parsimony. In order of shortest to longest time-to-first use, the 4 classes were characterized as 1) high craving and withdrawal, 2) intermediate craving and withdrawal, 3) high initial craving with low craving and withdrawal trajectories and 4) a low initial craving with low craving and withdrawal trajectories. Odds ratio calculations showed statistically significant differences in time-to-first use across classes.Generally, participants with lower baseline levels and greater decreases in craving and withdrawal during stabilization combined with slower craving and withdrawal rebound during buprenorphine taper remained opioid-free longer. This exploratory work expanded on the importance of monitoring craving and withdrawal during buprenorphine induction, stabilization, and taper. Future research may allow individually tailored and timely interventions to be developed to extend time-to-first opioid use.
Project description:Glutamate and opioid systems play important roles in alcohol drinking behaviors. We examined if combined treatment with the NMDA antagonist memantine and the opioid antagonist naltrexone, when compared with naltrexone alone, would have a greater influence on alcohol drinking behaviors. Fifty-six, non-treatment-seeking heavy drinkers, with alcohol dependence and a positive family history (FHP) of alcoholism, participated in a randomized, double-blind, crossover trial, including two 6-8 days treatment periods, separated by a 6-day washout, and 3 alcohol drinking paradigm (ADP) sessions. After the first baseline (BAS) ADP1 session, participants were randomized to receive either naltrexone (NTX; 50?mg/day)?+?placebo memantine, or NTX (50?mg/day)?+?memantine (MEM; 20?mg/day), during the first treatment period, following which they completed ADP2. After a 6-day washout, participants were crossed over to the treatment they did not receive during the first treatment period, following which they completed ADP3. During each ADP, participants received a priming drink of alcohol followed by 3 1-hour, self-administration periods during which they had ad-lib access to 12 drinks. Individually, both NTX and NTX?+?MEM, when compared to BAS ADP1, significantly reduced the number of drinks consumed (p's?<?0.001) and craving (p's?<?0.001). When comparing NTX?+?MEM vs. NTX on number of drinks consumed, there was a significant treatment* sequence interaction (p?=?0.004). Specifically, when NTX?+?MEM followed NTX alone, NTX?+?MEM resulted in a further reduction in drinking (mean: -1.94; 95% CI: -2.6, -0.8, p?=?0.0005). However, when NTX alone followed NTX?+?MEM, NTX alone did not lead to further reduction in drinking (mean: 0.59; 95% CI: -0.67, 1.43, p?=?0.47). Similar patterns were observed for alcohol craving; specifically, a significant reduction in craving was observed when NTX?+?MEM followed NTX alone (p?=?0.009), but craving reduction was maintained when NTX?+?MEM was followed by NTX alone. Neither treatment condition significantly influenced alcohol-induced stimulation or sedation. Memantine (at a dose of 20?mg/day) enhances the efficacy of naltrexone (50?mg/day) in reducing alcohol drinking and craving among FHP drinkers with beneficial effects that appear to carryover after discontinuation of memantine treatment.
Project description:The neuropeptide, oxytocin (OT), has been reported to block tolerance formation to alcohol and decrease withdrawal symptoms in alcohol-dependent rodents. Numerous recent studies in human subjects indicate that OT administered by the intranasal route penetrates into and exerts effects within the brain.In a randomized, double-blind clinical trial, intranasal OT (24 IU/dose, N = 7) or placebo (N = 4) was given twice daily for 3 days in alcohol-dependent subjects admitted to a research unit for medical detoxification using Clinical Institute Withdrawal Assessment for Alcohol (CIWA) score-driven PRN administration of lorazepam. Subjects rated themselves on the Alcohol Withdrawal Symptom Checklist (AWSC) each time CIWA scores were obtained. Subjects also completed the Penn Alcohol Craving Scale, an Alcohol Craving Visual Analog Scale (ACVAS) and the Profile of Mood States (POMS) on inpatient days 2 and 3.All subjects had drunk heavily each day for at least 2 weeks prior to study and had previously experienced withdrawal upon stopping/decreasing alcohol consumption. OT was superior to placebo in reducing alcohol withdrawal as evidenced by: less total lorazepam required to complete detoxification (3.4 mg [4.7, SD] vs. 16.5 [4.4], p = 0.0015), lower mean CIWA scores on admission day 1 (4.3 [2.3] vs. 11.8 [0.4], p < 0.0001) and day 2 (3.4 [2.2] vs. 11.1 [3.6], p < 0.002), lower AWSC scores on days 1 and 2 (p < 0.02; p = 0.07), and lower ACVAS ratings (p = 0.01) and lower POMS Tension/Anxiety subscale scores on day 2 (p < 0.01).This is the first demonstration that OT treatment may block alcohol withdrawal in human subjects. Our results are consistent with previous findings in rodents that OT inhibits neuroadaptation to and withdrawal from alcohol. OT could have advantages over benzodiazepines in managing alcohol withdrawal because it may reverse rather than maintain sedative-hypnotic tolerance. It will be important to test whether OT treatment is effective in reducing drinking in alcohol-dependent outpatients.
Project description:In 1994, the US Food and Drug Administration approved the ?-opioid receptor antagonist naltrexone to treat alcohol dependence. However, treatments requiring daily administration, such as naltrexone, are inconsistently adhered to in substance abusing populations, and constant medication exposure can increase risk of adverse outcomes, e.g., hepatotoxicity. This has fostered a 'targeted' or 'as needed' approach to opioid receptor antagonist treatment, in which medications are used only in anticipation of or during high-risk situations, including times of intense cravings. Initial studies of the ability of targeted naltrexone to reduce drinking-related outcomes were conducted in problem drinkers and have been extended into larger, multi-site, placebo-controlled investigations with positive results. Another ?-opioid receptor antagonist, nalmefene, has been studied on an 'as-needed' basis to reduce heavy drinking in alcohol-dependent individuals. These studies include three large multi-site trials in Europe of up to 1 year in duration, and serve as the basis for the recent approval of nalmefene by the European Medicines Agency as an 'as-needed' adjunctive treatment for alcohol dependence. We review potential moderators of opioid receptor antagonist treatment response including subjective assessments, objective clinical measures and genetic variants. In sum, the targeted or 'as-needed' approach to treatment with opioid antagonists is an efficacious harm-reduction strategy for problem drinking and alcohol dependence.