Effect of extended-release naltrexone (XR-NTX) on quality of life in alcohol-dependent patients

Helen M Pettinati, David R Gastfriend, Qunming Dong, Henry R Kranzler, Stephanie S O'Malley
Alcoholism, Clinical and Experimental Research 2009, 33 (2): 350-6

BACKGROUND: Extended-release naltrexone (XR-NTX) is a once-a-month injectable formulation for the treatment of alcohol dependence previously shown to reduce drinking and heavy drinking relative to placebo (Garbutt et al., 2005). A 24-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study established the efficacy and safety of XR-NTX in this patient population. In this report, the effect of XR-NTX on quality of life (QOL) was examined.

METHODS: Alcohol-dependent patients were randomly assigned to receive XR-NTX 380 mg (N = 205), XR-NTX 190 mg (N = 210), or placebo (N = 209), combined with a standardized psychosocial intervention. QOL was assessed using the Medical Outcomes Study 36-item short-form health survey, administered at baseline and at 4-week intervals during 24 weeks of treatment.

RESULTS: Compared with U.S. population norms, patients showed initial impairment in the health-related QOL domains of mental health, social functioning, and problems with work or other daily activities due to emotional problems. Adherence to all 6 injections was 65% for XR-NTX 190 mg, 63% for XR-NTX 380 mg, and 64% for placebo. Generalized estimating equations analyses using an intention-to-treat sample revealed that XR-NTX 380 mg was associated with significantly greater improvements from baseline in mental health (p = 0.0496), social functioning (p = 0.010), general health (p = 0.048), and physical functioning (p = 0.028), compared with placebo. Linear regression analyses revealed that reductions from baseline in drinking (percentage of drinking days and percentage of heavy drinking days in the last 30 days) were significantly (p < 0.05) correlated with improvements in quality of life.

CONCLUSION: Extended-release naltrexone 380 mg in combination with psychosocial intervention was associated with improvements in QOL, specifically in the domains of mental health, social functioning, general health, and physical functioning.

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