The Effectiveness of Naltrexone Combined With Current Smoking Cessation Medication to Attenuate Post Smoking Cessation Weight Gain: A Literature Review
Background Smoking is the number one cause of preventable morbidity and mortality globally and although many countries have invested heavily in smoking cessation programs, 21% of the global population still smoke. Post cessation weight gain has been identified as a barrier to attempting cessation and is implicated in the high rates of relapse. Naltrexone has been touted as a possible solution to address post smoking cessation weight gain.
Results The results from seven original studies assessing the effectiveness of naltrexone in combination with existing smoking cessation medications to attenuate post smoking cessation weight gain were obtained and critically reviewed. Five returned positive results and two returned results that were statistically insignificant. The positive results were seen more often in those identified as more likely to exhibit hedonic eating behaviour for example women and participants who were categorised as overweight or obese.
Conclusion The evidence suggests further investigation in to a combination of naltrexone and approved smoking cessation medications is warranted and could provide a solution to attenuate post smoking cessation weight gain especially in women and those classified as overweight or obese. This may provide the tool required to remove a perceived barrier to smoking cessation and improve global statistics.