Alcoholism is an increasing problem all over the world, and nowadays especially
amongst teenagers. Although several drug treatments have been proposed for this condition,
only a few have demonstrated a significant efficacy. Nalmefene, a novel compound that
combines opioids mu-receptors antagonism and kappa-receptors partial agonism, was recently
approved by the European Medicine Agency for the treatment of alcoholism. This
drug can be very helpful in reducing the alcohol intake, and, as such, it can be considered
one of the first and fundamental steps towards alcohol abstinence. The aim of this review is
to discuss and comment on the available literature on nalmefene, as well as on novel treatment strategies of
this condition (and perhaps of other addictions) opened by this latest pharmacological approach.
Keywords: Alcoholism, pharmacological treatments, nalmefene, opioids, reward system.
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