Naltrexone and alcohol effects on craving for cigarettes in heavy drinking smokers.

Naltrexone has been extensively studied for the treatment of alcohol use disorder. However, less is known about the effects of naltrexone on smoking outcomes in the context of alcohol use among East Asian individuals who have been suggested to differ in response to alcohol and to naltrexone. The present study is a secondary analysis that used a double-blind placebo-controlled design (n = 31) to examine the (a) effects of alcohol on basal craving for cigarettes, (b) effects of naltrexone on cigarette craving and alcohol craving during alcohol administration, and (c) relationship between craving for alcohol and cigarettes. Heavy drinking smokers of East Asian descent completed two counterbalanced intravenous alcohol administration sessions, one after taking naltrexone (50 mg) for five days and one after taking a placebo for five days. Self-reported subjective craving for cigarettes and for alcohol was recorded during each experimental session. Craving for cigarettes and alcohol increased significantly throughout the intravenous alcohol administration. A significant breath alcohol concentration (BrAC) × Medication interaction revealed that naltrexone blunted cigarette craving during alcohol administration, compared to placebo. Naltrexone significantly reduced craving for alcohol during alcohol administration in this group of heavy drinking smokers. Alcohol craving significantly predicted cigarette craving, however this effect did not vary across rising alcohol administration or by medication. These findings demonstrate that naltrexone reduces the urge to smoke and to drink during alcohol administration. Clinical studies are needed to further ascertain whether naltrexone may be of benefit to this distinct subgroup of heavy drinking smokers. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)