Objectives: The impact of intramuscular, injectable, extended-release naltrexone (XR-NTX; Vivitrol) on counseling and support group participation was examined in a post hoc analysis of a 24-week, randomized, double-blind study in 624 alcohol-dependent adults, most of whom were nonabstinent at baseline.
Methods: Patients were offered 6 monthly injections of XR-NTX 380 mg, XR-NTX 190 mg, or placebo (n = 205, 210, and 209, respectively) and 12 sessions of manualized brief counseling. Voluntary participation in extramural counseling (eg, couples or family therapy) and self-help support groups (eg, Alcoholics Anonymous) was permitted and assessed.
Results: The proportion of patients attending all 12 Biopsychosocial, Report, Empathy, Needs, Direct advice, and Assessment sessions was nonsignificantly greater for XR-NTX 380 mg (45%) than for placebo (39%), as was the proportion attending extramural counseling (10% vs 7%) and support groups (13% vs 10%). Attendance rates were intermediate with XR-NTX 190-mg. Attending self-help groups was significantly (P = 0.04) related to reduced heavy drinking across all treatment groups.
Conclusions: XR-NTX is compatible with counseling and support group participation in the treatment of alcohol dependence.