Effects of naltrexone with nicotine replacement on smoking cue reactivity: preliminary results
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Although several studies have examined the effects of opioid antagonists on smoking behavior, there have been no reports of the potentially therapeutic combination of naltrexone and nicotine replacement therapy. The primary objective of the present study was to determine whether naltrexone reduced reactivity to smoking cues among abstinent smokers treated with nicotine replacement. Twenty participants were instructed to abstain from smoking cigarettes for 9 h while using nicotine replacement therapy. Participants were subsequently treated with either naltrexone (50 mg) or placebo before being exposed to smoking cues. Results indicated that the smokers who received the placebo responded to smoking cue exposure with increases in urge to smoke and increases in negative affect. Participants who received naltrexone did not show any increase in urge or negative affect and showed a decrease in withdrawal symptoms after exposure to smoking cues. Although preliminary, the findings suggest that naltrexone may work in combination with nicotine replacement therapies to block the effects of smoking stimuli in abstinent smokers.
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