Dronabinol Naltrexone Treatment for Opioid Dependence

2014-07-23 21:11:37 | BioPortfolio


The goal of this two-year study is to test the efficacy of dronabinol as an adjunct to maintenance treatment with naltrexone in opioid-dependent individuals. We hypothesize that administering dronabinol during detoxification and during the first few weeks of naltrexone treatment will lead to improved naltrexone tolerability, resulting in better naltrexone compliance and treatment retention, and ultimately a reduction in opioid use and relapse rates.


The goal of this two-year study is to test the efficacy of dronabinol as an adjunct to maintenance treatment with naltrexone in opioid-dependent individuals. We are proposing a randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled, parallel-groups, 8 week study of relapse prevention in opioid-dependent individuals. Participants will be randomized into one of two conditions (1) Naltrexone + Placebo (N=20) and (2) Naltrexone + dronabinol 15 mg bid (N=40). Treatment will be delivered in an outpatient setting except for the initial phase of inpatient detoxification, lasting 8 days. A long-acting, injectable form of naltrexone 380 mg (Vivitrol) will be administered once per month (the total of two injections), while dronabinol or placebo will be taken daily. In addition, patients will receive a psychosocial intervention that will include elements of motivational interviewing and cognitive-behavioral relapse prevention therapy. The primary aim is to test the efficacy of dronabinol in improving tolerability of naltrexone induction and reducing attrition during detoxification and the first two months of naltrexone treatment. The primary outcome will be the severity of opiate withdrawal and craving. The secondary outcome will be will be retention in treatment at study's end.

Study Design

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


Opioid Dependence


injectable naltrexone plus dronabinol, Naltrexone plus placebo


New York State Psychiatric Institute
New York
New York
United States




National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2014-07-23T21:11:37-0400

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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

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A synthetic opioid that is used as the hydrochloride. It is an opioid analgesic that is primarily a mu-opioid agonist. It has actions and uses similar to those of MORPHINE. It also has a depressant action on the cough center and may be given to control intractable cough associated with terminal lung cancer. Methadone is also used as part of the treatment of dependence on opioid drugs, although prolonged use of methadone itself may result in dependence. (From Martindale, The Extra Pharmacopoeia, 30th ed, p1082-3)

A class of opioid receptors recognized by its pharmacological profile. Kappa opioid receptors bind dynorphins with a higher affinity than endorphins which are themselves preferred to enkephalins.

A class of opioid receptors recognized by its pharmacological profile. Mu opioid receptors bind, in decreasing order of affinity, endorphins, dynorphins, met-enkephalin, and leu-enkephalin. They have also been shown to be molecular receptors for morphine.

A class of opioid receptors recognized by its pharmacological profile. Delta opioid receptors bind endorphins and enkephalins with approximately equal affinity and have less affinity for dynorphins.

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