A longer duration of extended-release naltrexone (XR-NTX) treatment in individuals with opioid dependence was associated with improved outcomes and reduced rates of relapse in a study published in Addiction.
Monthly visits for XR-NTX treatment of 395 patients with opioid dependence were retrospectively assessed. Patients were divided into subgroups according to the number of XR-NTX injections they received: 6 to 7 injections for up to 6 months (n=111); 2 to 3 injections between baseline and 2 months, or <6 injections up to 6 months (n=152); and 1 injection at baseline (n=132).
During the 6-month study period, the number of XR-NTX injections was higher in patients with private insurance vs self-payment (5 vs 2, respectively; P =.005) or vs state insurance (5 vs 2, respectively; P <.001) and in patients who were employed vs unemployed (3 vs 2, respectively; P=.02).
Patients who had received 6 to 7 vs 1 to 3 XR-NTX injections experienced greater improvements in employment, mental health, and psychosocial functioning, as well as reduced opioid craving and drug use during the 6-month study period.
The study’s design did not allow them to assess statistical significance of the observed differences between groups. In addition, the lack of a control group and the observational nature of the study further limited the analysis.
Saxon AJ, Akerman SC, Liu CC, et al. Extended-release naltrexone (XR-NTX) for opioid use disorder in clinical practice: Vivitrol’s Cost and Treatment Outcomes Registry published online March 1, 2018. Addiction.