Since its approval by the Food and Drug Administration in 1949, the
aversive agent disulfiram1 was, for nearly
50 years, the only drug approved in the United States to treat alcohol dependence.
However, in 1994, the Food and Drug Administration approved naltrexone, an
opioid antagonist, for that indication based largely on the results of 2 federally
funded studies.2,3 The approval
of naltrexone for alcoholism treatment has also increased interest on the
part of the pharmaceutical industry in medications to treat alcohol dependence.
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