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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 13  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 211-215

Naltrexone beyond psychiatric domain

Department of Internal Medicine, BLK-Max Super Speciality Hospital, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Vivek Pal Singh
Department of Internal Medicine, BLK-Max Super Speciality Hospital, New Delhi
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/injms.injms_35_22

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Naltrexone, an opioid receptor (OR) antagonist, at its standard doses, is a United States Federal Drug Administration-approved drug for opioid and alcohol use disorders. However, with the discovery of nonneuropsychiatric effects of OR signaling with low-dose naltrexone, it has found novel applications in inflammatory, malignant, insulin sensitivity-related, and chronic pain conditions. Lower doses also ameliorate its adverse effects. Its off-label use in the abovementioned situations has proven to be cost-effective against costly immunomodulating and antineoplastic drugs. Its lower cost and miniscule margin of interest have precluded in-depth analysis by the pharmaceutical industry. So far, only animal studies, cell culture studies, and case reports have been conducted, some of which exhibit promising benefits. There is a dearth of much-needed quality trials.

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