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Saturday, March 15, 2008

Memantine enhances the inhibitory effects of naltrexone on ethanol consumption
European Journal of Pharmacology
Article in Press, Corrected Proof 14 Feb 2008

Effects of the opioid receptor antagonist naltrexone (0.1; 0.3; 1.0 mg/kg i.p.) on operant ethanol self-administration alone and in combination with the non-competitive NMDA antagonist memantine (0.5 and 1 mg/kg, i.p.) were studied in rats.

Acute administration of naltrexone (0.1; 0.3; 1.0 mg/kg i.p.) inhibited ethanol self-administration in a dose-dependent manner. Memantine (1.0 mg/kg) significantly enhanced the effects of naltrexone at 0.1 mg/kg, failing per se to inhibit ethanol consumption.

Thus, low, sub-effective dose of memantine in combination with low doses of naltrexone blocked the reinforcing properties of ethanol in rats.

It is suggested that the combination of sub-effective doses of memantine and naltrexone may have therapeutic value in the treatment of alcoholism particularly in a subgroup of alcoholic patients who have high sensitivity to the adverse side effects of naltrexone.

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