Neurology Central

Combination therapy targeting the opioid system may help with major depression

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Two clinical trials of an investigational drug that targets the opioid system support its safety and effectiveness in reducing symptoms of major depression, when added to standard antidepressant treatment.

The results of these Phase III trials have been published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry.

The combination of buprenorphine with samidorphan, which blocks one of the opioid receptors activated by buprenorphine, was designed to reduce the abuse and dependence potential of buprenorphine alone. The drug – also termed ALKS 5461 – is being developed by Alkermes (Dublin, Ireland), which sponsored the two clinical trials: FORWARD-4 and FORWARD-5.

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