Dual therapy for alcohol use disorders: Combining naltrexone with other medications

Janice Froehlich, Emily Nicholson, Julian Dilley

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Alcohol use disorders (AUD) are among the most prevalent of all the addictions in the world. Increasing the number of medications available for treating AUD is a worldwide priority. Currently, naltrexone (NTX) is the “gold standard” used to treat AUD. Although NTX can reduce alcohol drinking and alcohol relapse in many individuals, it is not effective for all alcohol-dependent individuals, and it is not without side effects. Our research demonstrates that combining NTX with drugs that have been developed to treat other disorders, such as anxiety, depression, or tobacco craving, often results in a combined medication that can reduce alcohol intake when used in low doses that allow for avoidance of the potential side effects of each drug. Combinatorial pharmacotherapeutics is a useful approach for treating AUD and may be particularly valuable for individuals who want to reduce their alcohol intake, but who find NTX alone to be ineffective.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationNeuroscience of Alcohol
Subtitle of host publicationMechanisms and Treatment
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9780128131251
ISBN (Print)9780128131268
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019


  • Alcohol drinking
  • Alcohol relapse
  • Alcohol treatment
  • Bupropion
  • Fluoxetine
  • Naltrexone
  • Prazosin
  • Selectively bred rats
  • Varenicline

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Neuroscience(all)

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  • Cite this

    Froehlich, J., Nicholson, E., & Dilley, J. (2019). Dual therapy for alcohol use disorders: Combining naltrexone with other medications. In Neuroscience of Alcohol: Mechanisms and Treatment (pp. 653-660). Elsevier. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-813125-1.00067-2