Thursday, December 29, 2005

Alcoholism Drug Still Awaits Final Approval
Vivitrol, known as Vivitrex while it was being tested, is an injectable, extended-release version of naltrexone, a now-generic pill that's prescribed to alcoholics to discourage them from resuming drinking. The once-a-month injection of Vivitrol will be marketed as a way to improve patient compliance over the once-a-day naltrexone pill.
I didn't know about this drug before I saw this article. I have never used naltrexone for alcoholics and the articles I have read since comment that most doctors either don't know about it or don't use it because of poor compliance. This monthly injection may change that. Especially if the courts order its use in connection with DUI, domestic violence, etc.


More
In the placebo group, the median number of heavy drinking days was reduced from 19 days per month in the month prior to the study (baseline) to six days per month over the six-months of placebo treatment. The placebo group received treatment consistent of placebo injection, monthly medical attention and counseling.

The Vivitrex treatment group showed a 48% further reduction in heavy drinking over the placebo group. Over the six-month treatment period, the median number of heavy drinking days was reduced from 19 days at baseline to three days per month in the Vivitex group compare to six days per month in the placebo group.