Alcoholism drug may help heroin addicts, too

By Terrapinzflyer · Nov 17, 2009 · ·
  1. Terrapinzflyer
    Alcoholism drug may help heroin addicts, too

    Cambridge biotech company Alkermes Inc. said its drug Vivitrol, which is used to help alcoholics quit drinking, may also help opioid addicts kick their habits.

    A recent late-stage clinical trial of the non-narcotic, non-addictive injectible form of naltrexonev showed that opioid addicts who took the drug once a month were more likely to stay off drugs than others who received a placebo. The study also showed that patients who took the drug had reduced cravings.

    Earlier this month, state Sen. Steven Tolman (D-Boston) said Massachusetts is in the throes of a heroin and OxyContin “epidemic.” Tolman, who headed a special state commission, pointed out that more Americans have died of opiate-related overdoses between 2002 and 2007 than have perished in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars.

    Alkermes’ Vivitrol study included 250 people who were addicted to opioids, including heroin. Before participating, they had to stay off drugs for at least a week.

    In the six-month test, the patients took urine tests once a week. Alkermes said at least half of the 250 subjects were clean in at least 90 percent of their drug tests. Alkermes said it will seek regulatory approval for Vivitrol in the first half of 2010.

    By Christine McConville
    Tuesday, November 17, 2009


    Vivitrol has been mentioned quite a few times here.

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  1. 10outof10
    This is interesting, In UK they have been using Naltrexone for a while under brand names Nalorex and Opizone. SWIM had heard that that the substance could be used for alcohol although SWIM does not know anyone having been given this for alcohol dependency-yet. Would be really interesting to hear if any SWIY"s has any experience of effectiveness for alcohol..
  2. chillinwill
    This is what Red Rock is on for the past 2+ years and he can attest to the effectiveness of Vivitrol. It has worked better than methadone, suboxone, regular naltrexone pills taken orally, etc. Red Rock is amazed that Vivitrol has not taken off more.

    Rumor has it from Red Rock's doc that is one of the leading providers on Vivitrol is that they are going to be distributed all throughout the prison system (at least in VA I believe and maybe NY) to see whether it will help people in the drug program there stay clean or not.

    For alcohol, Vivitrol helps prevent the person drinking from experiencing any euphoria but that person can still become drunk. Since the person drinking isn't getting any euphoria from the drinking, Vivitrol helps curb the amount a person is drinking. This has been the case for Red Rock. It takes away all the fun out of drinking.
  3. testodan
    Naltrexone has been approved for alcohol dependency, recently.
  4. 10outof10
    SWIM has also heard of possibility of Naltrexone for cocaine addiction, any ideas if this or Vivitrol is being used anywhere for cocaine? Vivitrol sounds a hell of a lot better than antibuse anyway... :)
  5. chillinwill
    AFAIK, it is not being deployed for cocaine addiction. Red Rock tells me that he was able to use cocaine and get high just fine.
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