Predictors of Self-Reported Adherence to Naltrexone Medication in an Outpatient Treatment for Problem Drinking | OMICS International | Abstract
ISSN: 2155-6105

Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy
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Research Article

Predictors of Self-Reported Adherence to Naltrexone Medication in an Outpatient Treatment for Problem Drinking

Salla Vuoristo-Myllys1,2*, Esti Laaksonen3, Jari Lahti1, Jari Lipsanen1, Hannu Alho2-4 and Hely Kalska1

1Institute of Behavioural Sciences, University of Helsinki, Finland

2National Institute for Health and Welfare, Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, Helsinki, Finland

3Department of General Practice, University of Turku, Finland

4Research Unit of Substance Abuse Medicine, University of Helsinki, Finland

*Corresponding Author:
Vuoristo-Myllys Salla
Institute of Behavioural Sciences
Siltavuorenpenger 1A, P.O. Box 9
00014 University of Helsinki, Finland
Tel: +358 9 1912 9483
Fax: +358 9 1912 9251
E-mail: [email protected]

Received date: August 24, 2013; Accepted date: September 18, 2013; Published date: September 28, 2013

Citation: Vuoristo-Mylys S, Laaksonen E, Lahti J, Lipsanen J, Alho H, Kalska, H. et al. (2013) Predictors of Self-Reported Adherence to Naltrexone Medication in an Outpatient Treatment for Problem Drinking. J Addict Res Ther 4:159. doi:10.4172/2155-6105.1000159

Copyright: © 2013 Vuoristo-Myllys S, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Objective: The opioid antagonist naltrexone has been proven as an efficacious treatment for alcoholism. However, in clinical trials the reported medication adherence has often been poor, being one of the key problems associated with naltrexone treatment. There are very few studies on predictors of nonadherence, although this information would help clinicians to identify their non-compliant patients. This study investigated predictors of medication adherence in an outpatient treatment programme consisting of naltrexone and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). Patients were instructed to take one tablet on each day they perceived as a risk of drinking alcohol (as-needed dosing), preferably 1 to 2 hours before anticipated time of drinking. Participants were patients (n=299) who attended a treatment programme in an outpatient clinic.

Method: Predictors of medication adherence (defined as using medication in ≥ 80% of situations of drinking) during the first five months of the treatment programme were investigated with logistic regression analyses.

Results: Average naltrexone adherence in this study was 78%. Poor adherence with naltrexone was associated with unemploymentand high craving for alcohol at treatment entry.

Conclusions: Adherence to naltrexone was generally high compared to many naltrexone studies using daily medication. Patients with high craving for alcohol may have lower adherence to naltrexone or other opioid antagonists and need practical and therapeutic strategies for improving adherence.