Naltrexone (NTX) is a well-tolerated drug with a wide safety margin and mechanism of action that affords use across a wide variety of indications in adults and children. By antagonizing the opioid reward system, NTX can modulate behaviors that involve compulsivity or impulsivity, such as substance use, obesity, and eating disorders. Evidence regarding the disposition and efficacy of NTX is mainly derived from adult studies of substance use disorders and considerable variability exists. Developmental changes, plausible disease-specific alterations and genetic polymorphisms in NTX disposition, and pharmacodynamic pathways should be taken into consideration when optimizing the use of NTX in the pediatric population. This review highlights the current state of the evidence and gaps in knowledge regarding NTX to facilitate evidence-based pharmacotherapy of mental health conditions, for which few pharmacologic options exist.

You do not currently have access to this content.