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  Implants of naltrexone: information sought on outcomes

Posted: August 08, 2007 20:02
Dear Readers,

Like many of my colleagues, I am concerned at the use of naltrexone implants for addiction purposes in Australia without the normal safeguards of a new medication. As an alternative to post-marketing surveillance I propose a survey to seek first hand reports of experiences, both positive and negative, with these devices. Some have been used in patients who have travelled long distances and may lack sufficient local medical support.

Readers who have consulted with patients who have been prescribed naltrexone implants are invited to write to report their findings, including individual case reports. Age and sex of patients and dependency diagnosis would be useful, along with any other relevant clinical details (type of implant, number of implants, etc).

I undertake to collate these and report back to the appropriate parties, including health authorities, manufacturers (where these are known), informants and patient groups for their information.

In medicine, ´┐Żproof of effectiveness´┐Ż means that a sufficient number of positive research trials of high quality have been published by reputable authors in peer reviewed, respected journals.

In my view we have not yet reached this situation by general consensus with naltrexone implants.

With best regards,

Andrew Byrne ..

Potential conflict of interest: In my practice I prescribe and dispense methadone, buprenorphine and other drugs in the treatment of addictions. I have published on methadone to abstinence experience in my own medical practice (ref on request).


On this web site, Dr Byrne and colleagues have written summaries of many research articles, conferences and other events. These have been written largely to draw attention to peer-reviewed studies which may be relevant to clinical practice and public policy. While all care has been taken to be fair and accurate, readers are strongly advised to read the original publications before acting upon the information for clinical decisions.

Due to this brief form of communication, no responsibility can be taken for errors, mistakes or omissions.

Reputable sources of health information for the general public:

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