HIV & AIDS

Naltrexone implant helps HIV patients prevent opioid relapse

(HealthDay)—Slow-release implantable naltrexone is associated with better outcomes than the oral drug for HIV-positive patients with an opioid addiction, according to a study published in the April issue of The Lancet HIV.

Medications

Fears over life-saving drug unfounded, finds review

Fears over a drug that can be used to treat alcohol addiction are unfounded, according to its first ever systematic review, led by academics at The University of Manchester.

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Naltrexone

Naltrexone is an opioid receptor antagonist used primarily in the management of alcohol dependence and opioid dependence. It is marketed in generic form as its hydrochloride salt, naltrexone hydrochloride, and marketed under the trade names Revia and Depade. In some countries including the United States, a once-monthly extended-release injectable formulation is marketed under the trade name Vivitrol. Also in the US, Methylnaltrexone Bromide, a closely related drug, is marketed as Relistor, for the treatment of opioid induced constipation.

Naltrexone should not be confused with naloxone (which is used in emergency cases of overdose rather than for longer-term dependence control) nor nalorphine. Both nalorphine and naloxone are full antagonists and will treat an opioid overdose, but naltrexone is longer-acting than naloxone (although neither is an irreversible antagonist like naloxazone), making naloxone a better emergency antidote.

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