Naltrexone Implants in the Treatment of Heroin Addiction
In this chapter the morbidity, mortality and social issues associated with heroin dependency and the merits of two types of sustained release naltrexone over oral naltrexone preparations as maintenance treatments will be discussed. Presented data will compare naltrexone and 6-β-naltrexol data obtained from blood/serum samples of patients who received either an implant developed by Go Medical Industries (Australia) or Wedgewood Pharmacy (USA). For the latter, the data was obtained by clinical record review of a random sample of 10 patients who received a single Go Medical, and 14 patients who received a 1g Wedgewood natrexone implant who attended private heroin treatment clinics in Australia (Perth, Western Australia and Brisbane, Queensland). Blood sample collection and analysis of free-natrexone and free 6-β-naltrexol was part of a routine clinical management of patients given implants.
Findings indicate that both the Wedgewood and Go Medical implant investigated provide opiate antagonistic coverage with blood naltrexone and 6-β-naltrexol levels maintained above 1-2ng/ml for significantly longer following use of the Go Medical implant. One implication is that the return of tolerance may be more gradual with the Australian preparation, which is likely to constitute an important safety advantage against accidental opioid overdose.
Hulse, G. K., Arnold-Reed, D. E., Ngo, H., & Reece, S. (2007). Naltrexone implants in the treatment of heroin addiction. In Caitlin R. McKenna (Ed.), Trends in substance abuse research (Ch 3). New York, NY: Nova Science Publishers.