From Business Week
Combined treatment with the antidepressant Zoloft (sertraline
) and the alcoholism drug naltrexone
improves the likelihood that people with both major depression and alcohol dependence will be able to stop drinking, U.S. researchers report.
Their 14-week study of 170 patients found that 54 percent of those who received the combined treatment were able to stop drinking, compared with 21 to 28 percent for patients who received a placebo, Zoloft only, or naltrexone only.
The patients who received the combined treatment also went for a longer period of time before they started drinking again -- 61 days compared with 15 days for patients in the other groups.
The findings may prove an important advance in the treatment of patients with alcohol dependence and depression, said the University of Pennsylvania researchers.
The study was published March 15 in the The American Journal of Psychiatry.