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April 01, 2007
photo of a patch being applied to an arm

Supplementing nicotine replacement therapy with naltrexone yielded improvements in outcomes in a double-blind 6-week trial. Among the 295 enrollees who completed the trial, quit rates were 72 percent with 100 mg of naltrexone, 51 percent with 25 mg, 48 percent with 50 mg, and 48 percent with a naltrexone placebo. Patients who took the 100 mg dose reported the greatest reductions in nicotine cravings and withdrawal symptoms. The investigators observed that patients receiving the 25 mg and 50 mg doses gained the least weight, and suggested that combination therapy with low-dose naltrexone and the patch be considered for smokers concerned about weight gain. The researchers cautioned that naltrexone augmentation for smoking cessation requires further study, as abstinence differences evened out by a 3-month followup, and did not recur at 6- and 12-month followups.

Archives of Internal Medicine 166(6):667-674, 2006. [Abstract]