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  1. #1

    Self-injury and the efficacy of naltrexone treatment

    Self-injurious behavior and the efficacy of naltrexone treatment: a quantitative synthesis

    Symons FJ, Thompson A, Rodriguez MC.
    Department of Educational Psychology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55455, USA. symon007@umn.edu

    People with mental retardation, autism, and related developmental disabilities who self-injure are treated with a wide array of behavioral techniques and psychotropic medications. Despite numerous reports documenting short-term and some long-term changes in self-injury associated with the opiate antagonist naltrexone hydrochloride, no quantitative review of its efficacy has been reported. We conducted a quantitative synthesis of the peer-reviewed published literature from 1983 to 2003 documenting the use of naltrexone for the treatment of self-injurious behavior (SIB). Individual-level results were analyzed given subject and study characteristics. A sample of 27 research articles involving 86 subjects with self-injury was reviewed. Eighty percent of subjects were reported to improve relative to baseline (i.e., SIB reduced) during naltrexone administration and 47% of subjects SIB was reduced by 50% or greater. In studies reporting dose levels in milligrams, males were more likely than females to respond. No significant relations were found between treatment outcomes and autism status or form of self-injury. Results are discussed with respect to future efficacy work related to study outcomes and the pharmacological treatment of self-injury.

    Ment Retard Dev Disabil Res Rev. 2004;10(3):193-200.

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  2. #2

    Re: Self-injury and the efficacy of naltrexone treatment

    I wonder if there are any updates on the effectiveness of this treatment?

  3. #3

    Re: Self-injury and the efficacy of naltrexone treatment

    That is a really interesting article. I wonder too. I also wonder if there have been any studies done with atypical antipsychotics and SIB? . Maybe I will see if there is any research on it

  4. #4

    Re: Self-injury and the efficacy of naltrexone treatment

    I have been on this for a week now and I can honestly say it seems to be helping with the urges to harm myself and also with the eating disorder I've been struggling with. Maybe it is a placebo effect, but I'll take it.

  5. #5

    Re: Self-injury and the efficacy of naltrexone treatment

    I am glad that it seems to be helping

  6. #6

    Re: Self-injury and the efficacy of naltrexone treatment

    Absolutely. If it works, go with it. And if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

  7. #7

    Re: Self-injury and the efficacy of naltrexone treatment

    Thanks you two. I'm definitely not going to try to fix it this time. LOL.

  8. Re: Self-injury and the efficacy of naltrexone treatment

    Janet, that's great news! I'm so glad this medication is helping you!

  9. Re: Self-injury and the efficacy of naltrexone treatment

    I am always happy to hear when medication works for someone

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