Assessment of therapeutic strategies for alcohol dependence: opioid antagonists and acamprosate. IPE-02/35 (Public report)

Bouza Alvarez C, Magro de la Plaza M A, Romero Martinez J J, Amate Blanco J M
Record ID 32003000481
Authors' objectives:

The aim of this report is to evaluate the efficacy and safety of opioid antagonists and acamprosate in the treatment of alcohol dependence.

Authors' recommendations: This review has shown convincing evidence from good quality randomised controlled trials and prospective controlled clinical trials that naltrexone and acamprosate are moderately effective therapies for alcohol dependence. However, questions remain about the optimal duration of treatment; the type of patients who will benefit most from a specific drug; the impact of treatments on patients health-related quality of life and degree of satisfaction. Similarly, no evaluation was made of their effects on alcohol-dependence-related morbidity. In addition, further studies are needed to evaluate the appropriate selection of patients and to understand the relationship of pharmacotherapy to patient heterogeneity. Psychosocial interventions require more standardization and better reporting and the relationship of pharmacotherapy to these interventions needs to be better understood. Common outcome measures need to be standardized both in their definition and the way they are assessed. Studies should be made over longer time periods to establish the efficacy of both groups of drugs as maintenance treatments. Effectiveness studies are needed to establish the benefit of naltrexone and acamprosate in common clinical settings. In addition, future studies should examine ways to enhance both medication compliance and study retention.
Authors' methods: Systematic review
Project Status: Completed
URL for project:
Year Published: 2002
English language abstract: An English language summary is available
Publication Type: Not Assigned
Country: Spain
MeSH Terms
  • Alcohol Deterrents
  • Narcotic Antagonists
  • Alcoholism
Organisation Name: Agencia de Evaluacion de Tecnologias Sanitarias
Contact Address: Instituto de Salud "Carlos III", Calle Sinesio Delgado 6, Pabellon 4, 28029 Madrid, Spain. Tel: +34 9 1 822 2005; Fax: +34 9 1 387 7841;
Contact Name: Luis M. Sánchez Gómez
Contact Email:
Copyright: Agencia de Evaluacion de Tecnologias Sanitarias (AETS)
This is a bibliographic record of a published health technology assessment from a member of INAHTA or other HTA producer. No evaluation of the quality of this assessment has been made for the HTA database.