Naltrexone and Adrenergic Agents to Reduce Heroin Use in Heroin Addicts

2014-07-24 14:28:57 | BioPortfolio


Naltrexone is a medication that is currently used to treat drug and alcohol addiction. Guanfacine is a medication that is currently used to manage the withdrawal symptoms in individuals undergoing opioid detoxification. A combination of these two medications may be beneficial in reducing heroin use in individuals addicted to heroin. This study will evaluate the effectiveness of naltrexone and guanfacine, alone and in combination, at reducing heroin use in heroin addicts.


Heroin addiction is a serious health problem with no available medical treatment for preventing relapse. Naltrexone is a medication that is currently used to treat substance addiction. It acts by blocking the "high" feeling produced by drugs and alcohol. Guanfacine, an antihypertensive medication, is currently used to manage the withdrawal symptoms in individuals undergoing opioid detoxification. While each of these medications is useful in the treatment of heroin addiction, a combination of the two drugs may be more effective than either medication alone. The purpose of this study is to compare the effectiveness of naltrexone, guanfacine, and a combination of naltrexone and guanfacine at reducing drug relapse in heroin addicts.

This study will enroll individuals addicted to heroin who have completed a prior detoxification program at one of two addiction treatment hospitals in St. Petersburg, Russian Federation. Upon completing the detoxification program, participants will be required to stay overnight at the clinic for a 3- to 4-week inpatient stabilization period. Once stabilized, participants will begin the 6-month treatment phase of the study. During this phase, they will be randomly assigned to receive one of the following drug combinations on a daily basis: 50 mg of naltrexone and guanfacine placebo; 1.0 mg of guanfacine and naltrexone placebo; 50 mg of naltrexone and 1.0 mg of guanfacine; or naltrexone placebo and guanfacine placebo. All participants will have a designated family member who will be responsible for supervising medication compliance. Study visits will occur twice a week. Participants will receive clinical management and medication compliance counseling at each visit; family members will also take part in the counseling sessions. Outcome measurements will include drug relapse, medication adherence, withdrawal symptoms, HIV risk factors, and psychiatric symptoms. Follow-up evaluations will occur 3 and 6 months following the end of treatment.

Study Design

Allocation: Randomized, Control: Placebo Control, Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Double Blind (Subject, Caregiver, Investigator, Outcomes Assessor), Primary Purpose: Treatment


Heroin Dependence


Naltrexone, Placebo


Saint Petersburg Pavlov State Medical University
Saint Petersburg
Russian Federation




National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2014-07-24T14:28:57-0400

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