Extended-release vs. oral naltrexone for alcohol dependence treatment in primary care (XON)

Mia Malone, Ryan McDonald, Alex Vittitow, Jenny Chen, Rita Obi, Daniel Schatz, Babak Tofighi, Ann Garment, Andrea Kermack, Keith Goldfeld, Heather Gold, Eugene Laska, John Rotrosen, Joshua D. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Extended-release naltrexone (XR-NTX, Vivitrol®)and daily oral naltrexone tablets (O-NTX)are FDA-approved mu opioid receptor antagonist medications for alcohol dependence treatment. Despite the efficacy of O-NTX, non-adherence and poor treatment retention have limited its adoption into primary care. XR-NTX is a once-a-month injectable formulation that offers a potentially more effective treatment option in reducing alcohol consumption and heavy drinking episodes among persons with alcohol use disorders. Methods: This pragmatic, open-label, randomized controlled trial examines the effectiveness of XR-NTX vs. O-NTX in producing a Good Clinical Outcome, defined as abstinence or moderate drinking (<2 drinks/day, men; <1 drink/day, women; and < 2 heavy drinking occasions/month)during the final 20 of 24 weeks of primary care-based Medical Management treatment for alcohol dependence. Secondary aims will estimate the cost effectiveness of XR-NTX vs. O-NTX, in conjunction with primary-care based Medical Management for both groups, and patient-level characteristics associated with effectiveness in both arms. Alcohol dependent persons are recruited from the community into treatment in a New York City public hospital primary care setting (Bellevue Hospital Center)for 24 weeks of either XR-NTX (n = 117)or O-NTX (n = 120). Results: We describe the rationale, specific aims, design, and recruitment results to date. Alternative design considerations and secondary aims and outcomes are reported. Conclusions: XR-NTX treatment in a primary care setting is potentially more efficacious, feasible, and cost-effective than oral naltrexone when treating community-dwelling persons with alcohol use disorders. This study will estimate XR-NTX's treatment and cost effectiveness relative to oral naltrexone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)102-109
Number of pages8
JournalContemporary Clinical Trials
StatePublished - Jun 2019


  • Alcohol dependence
  • Alcohol use disorder
  • Extended-release naltrexone
  • Medical management
  • Naltrexone
  • Primary care treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)


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