Naltrexone in patients with bipolar disorder and alcohol dependence

E. Sherwood Brown, Laura Beard, Lauren Dobbs, A. John Rush

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Bipolar disorder is associated with very high rates of substance abuse. However, few clinical trials are reported in this population. Naltrexone is effective for alcohol dependence, but its safety and efficacy are not established in patients with bipolar disorder and alcohol dependence. A 16-week, open-label, add-on pilot study of naltrexone was conducted in 34 outpatients with bipolar disorder and alcohol dependence. Assessments included the 17-item Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HRSD-17), Young Mania Rating Scale (YMRS), Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS), and an alcohol craving scale. Alcohol use was quantified. Significant improvement was observed in the HRSD-17 and YMRS, and days of alcohol use and craving decreased significantly. Naltrexone was well tolerated. Controlled trials are warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)492-495
Number of pages4
JournalDepression and Anxiety
Issue number8
StatePublished - Dec 20 2006


  • Depression
  • Mania
  • Mood disorders
  • Opioid receptor
  • Substance dependence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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