Retrospective study of all deaths among people undergoing naltrexone treatment for opioid dependence retrieved from the National Coronial Information System, 2000-2017.
Professor Johan Duflou
University of Sydney
Dr Biony Larance
University of Wollongong
Naltrexone is an opioid antagonist used as a maintenance drug for the treatment of opioid dependence and in opioid withdrawal regimes.
The study aimed to:
- Determine the clinical characteristics and circumstances of death of people undergoing naltrexone treatment for opioid dependence; and
- 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.
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.
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.