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Circumstances of death of opioid users being treated with naltrexone

image - Pills Broken 280
Drug Type:
Project Members: 
image - Julia Lappin
Senior Lecturer
Ph +61283821575
image - Michael Farrell 0
Director
Ph EA Tori Barnes: 02 9385 0292 / t.barnes@unsw.edu.au
Project Main Description: 

Retrospective study of all deaths among people undergoing naltrexone treatment for opioid dependence retrieved from the National Coronial Information System, 2000-2017.

Project Collaborators: External: 

Professor Johan Duflou
University of Sydney

Dr Biony Larance
University of Wollongong 

Rationale: 

Naltrexone is an opioid antagonist used as a maintenance drug for the treatment of opioid dependence and in opioid withdrawal regimes.

Aims: 

The study aimed to:

  1. Determine the clinical characteristics and circumstances of death of people undergoing naltrexone treatment for opioid dependence; and
  2. Determine the blood toxicology of cases including naltrexone concentrations, the presence of other drugs, and a comparison of morphine concentrations in the presence and absence of naltrexone.
Design and Method: 

Case series.

Progress/Update: 

Completed 2019.

Output: 

Darke, S., Farrell, M., Duflou, J., Larance, B. & Lappin, J. (2019) Circumstances of death of opioid users being treated with naltrexone. Addiction, 114, 2000-2007.

Benefits: 

The study provides the largest and most detailed case series of deaths of patients being treated with naltrexone conducted to date. It provides novel data on the characteristics of cases, the circumstances in which they died, and their toxicological profiles.

Drug Type: 
Project Status: 
Completed
Year Completed: 
2019