The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics
Naltrexone (Vivitrol) - A Once Monthly Injection for Alcoholism
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An injectable extended-release formulation of the opioid-receptor antagonist naltrexone (Vivitrol – Alkermes/Cephalon) has been approved by the FDA for once-monthly use, along with psychosocial support, to maintain abstinence from alcohol. Naltrexone inhibits the rewarding effects of alcohol.1,2 Oral naltrexone (Revia, and others) has been approved for treatment of alcohol dependence since 1994, but poor adherence has limited its effectiveness. In the new extended-release (XR) formulation, naltrexone is encapsulated in polylactide-co-glycolide microspheres (similar to absorbable suture material) and placed in aqueous suspension for intramuscular (IM) injection.

OTHER DRUGS — Two other drugs are approved by the FDA for treatment of alcohol dependence. Acamprosate (Campral) decreases glutamatergic transmission and modulates neuronal hyperexcitability after withdrawal ... more      

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Title: Naltrexone (Vivitrol) - A Once Monthly Injection for Alcoholism
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