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Nalmefene: a new approach to the treatment of alcohol dependence

Authors Paille F, Martini H

Received 28 February 2014

Accepted for publication 19 May 2014

Published 8 August 2014 Volume 2014:5 Pages 87—94

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/SAR.S45666

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3


François Paille, Hervé Martini

Department of Addiction Treatment, University Hospital, Vandœuvre-lès-Nancy, France

Abstract: Reduction of alcohol consumption is not yet a widely accepted treatment objective for alcohol-dependent patients, as abstinence is often considered to be the only possible objective in this situation. However, various studies have demonstrated the value of proposing these two options to such patients. Firstly, reduction of alcohol consumption very significantly reduces the risk of alcohol-related damage, and also modifies the patient's and the doctor's perception of the disease, resulting in improved access to care and better patient adherence with the proposed treatment objective and consequently better clinical results. Recent studies have shown that some medicinal products can help patients reduce their alcohol consumption. One such product, nalmefene, has been granted European marketing authorization and is now being released onto the market in various countries. The ESENSE 1 and 2 studies in alcohol-dependent patients showed that, in combination with BRENDA, a psychosocial intervention focusing on reinforcement of motivation and treatment adherence, nalmefene significantly reduced the number of heavy drinking days and mean daily total alcohol consumption versus placebo. This reduction was more marked in the marketing authorization target population, ie, patients with a high or very high drinking risk level according to World Health Organization criteria. Another original feature of this molecule is that it can be used as needed if the patient perceives a risk of drinking, which is a more flexible approach and more likely to ensure the patient's active involvement in the treatment of his/her disease. This molecule opens up interesting and original therapeutic prospects in the treatment of alcohol dependence.

Keywords: alcohol dependence, reduction, consumption, damage reduction, drug therapy, nalmefene
 
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