Oral naltrexone has been shown to reduce alcohol consumption and craving in individuals with alcohol use disorder (AUD), yet evidence regarding the efficacy of the extended-release injectable formulation (XR-naltrexone) is limited. Researchers conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of 7 randomized controlled trials evaluating 1500 adults with AUD receiving XR-naltrexone (150–400 mg) for 2–6 months or placebo, plus some form of behavioral therapy. The primary outcome was the pooled weighted mean difference

Comments: With a modest reduction in drinking days and heavy drinking days per month compared with psychosocial interventions and placebo alone, the results of this meta-analysis suggest that XR-naltrexone may have some efficacy for AUD treatment, especially with longer treatment duration. Further research is needed to determine the long-term efficacy of XR-naltrexone, its effects among an actively drinking population, and how it compares (e.g., efficacy and cost) with oral naltrexone.

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