Naltrexone for Impulse Control Disorders in Parkinson's Disease

This study has been completed.
Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Daniel Weintraub, University of Pennsylvania Identifier:
First received: January 15, 2010
Last updated: July 13, 2015
Last verified: July 2015
This study will evaluate the effectiveness of naltrexone in reducing ICD symptoms in Parkinson's disease patients taking a dopamine agonist.

Condition Intervention Phase
Impulse Control Disorder
Parkinson Disease
Drug: Naltrexone
Drug: Placebo
Phase 4

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Endpoint Classification: Safety/Efficacy Study
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Double Blind (Subject, Outcomes Assessor)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Randomized, Double-blind, Placebo-controlled Study of Naltrexone for Impulse Control Disorders in Parkinson's Disease

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by University of Pennsylvania:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Percentage of Participants Assessed as Very Much Improved or Much Improved Based on the Clinical Global Impression-Improvement (CGI-I) Scale [ Time Frame: The CGI-I was administered at Visit 2 (week 2, two weeks after baseline) and Visit 5 (week 8, termination visit 8 weeks after baseline). ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]

    The Clinical Global Impression-Improvement scale rates total improvement on a 7 point scale:

    1. = Very much improved
    2. = Much improved
    3. = Minimally improved
    4. = No change
    5. = Minimally worse
    6. = Much worse
    7. = Very much worse

    A participant scoring a 1 or 2 is considered a responder on the CGI scale. For the change in response status over time, a generalized estimating equation (GEE) model was used.

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • Questionnaire for Impulsive-Compulsive Disorders in Parkinson's Disease - Rating Scale (QUIP-RS) [ Time Frame: The QUIP-RS was administered at baseline and the termination visits (Visit 5, 8 weeks after baseline). ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
    The Questionnaire for Impulsive-Compulsive Disorders in Parkinson's Disease-Rating Scale (QUIP-RS) was developed for use in clinical trials and added as a secondary outcome measure for assessment of change in severity of ICD symptoms, to be completed at baseline and end of study only. For the QUIP-RS, scores for each compulsive behavior range from 0 to 16, with a higher score indicating greater severity (frequency) of symptoms. Given that ICD symptoms are frequently comorbid in patients with PD, total QUIP-RS ICD scores (range from 0 to 64) were used to compare overall severity of ICD symptoms. Please note that this measure is reporting a change from baseline.

Enrollment: 50
Study Start Date: November 2009
Study Completion Date: December 2012
Primary Completion Date: December 2012 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Active Comparator: Naltrexone
For the first four weeks of the study, participants were administered naltrexone at 50mg per day. Participants not in response at week 4 were increased to 100mg per day for the remaining four weeks of the study.
Drug: Naltrexone
50-100 mg qd for 8 weeks
Other Name: Revia, Vivitrol
Placebo Comparator: Placebo
Participants received the placebo treatment which looked identical to active study medication.
Drug: Placebo
50-100 mg qd for 8 weeks

Detailed Description:

Impulse control disorders (ICDs), including compulsive gambling, sexual behavior, buying, and eating, are increasingly recognized as a significant clinical problem in Parkinson's disease (PD), occurring in up to 15% of patients. Dopamine agonist (DA) treatment is thought to be the primary risk factor for the development of ICDs in PD. ICDs often lead to significant impairments in psychosocial functioning, interpersonal relationships, and quality of life. The management of ICDs in the context of PD can be complex. Patients may be reluctant to discontinue DA treatment due to the motor benefits derived from treatment, so patients often have chronic symptoms. Thus, additional treatment approaches are needed.

A medication shown to be efficacious for the treatment of ICDs with minimal impact on parkinsonism would allow many ICD patients to continue on full-dose DA treatment. Naltrexone, a long-acting opioid receptor antagonist, helps in the treatment of alcohol and opioid dependence. In addition, placebo-controlled studies have demonstrated that it helps in the treatment of pathological gambling in the general population. Opioids regulate dopamine pathways in areas of the brain linked with impulse control disorders, and opioid antagonists block opioid receptors in these regions. In this study, 48 PD patients with an ICD will be treated either with naltrexone (50-100 mg/day) or placebo for a period of 8 weeks. The study will assess if naltrexone improves ICD symptoms in PD and is well tolerated. To our knowledge, the proposed study is the first controlled trial of an agent to treat ICDs in PD.


Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 85 Years
Genders Eligible for Study:   Both
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria

  1. Diagnosis of possible or probable idiopathic Parkinson's disease (PD).
  2. Ages 18-85 years.
  3. Diagnosis of compulsive gambling, buying, sex behavior, or eating of >2 months duration.
  4. Impulse control disorder (ICD) behaviors that began after PD onset and in context of dopamine agonist (DA) treatment.
  5. Current stable DA use. Participants must be on a DA for 6 months and on a stable dose (no changes) for 1 month prior to enrolling the in the study.
  6. Subjects are capable of giving informed consent, supported by not having significant cognitive impairment based on Montreal Cognitive Assessment score ≥24.
  7. Willingness to maintain existing PD pharmacotherapy regimen for the duration of the study.

Exclusion Criteria

  1. Active suicide ideation.
  2. Anticipated need to initiate antidepressant therapy during the course of the study (must be on a dose in the therapeutic range for at least 2 months. If patient does end up needing to start antidepressant or change antidepressant dose during the course of the study, he/she will be allowed to continue study participation).
  3. ICD behaviors so severe that modification of DA treatment is clinically warranted, as judged by PI.
  4. Deep brain stimulation surgery in the past year.
  5. Evidence for significant liver disease by chart review or patient history (e.g., cirrhosis, chronic hepatitis, liver transplant, or liver cancer).
  6. Meeting diagnostic criteria for alcohol or opiate dependence.
  7. Meeting diagnostic criteria for Dopamine Dysregulation Syndrome.
  8. Use of opioids for pain management.
  9. Females that are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding will not be included in the study. Females of child bearing potential will need to verify that they are not pregnant by a negative urine pregnancy test.
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Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT01052831

United States, Pennsylvania
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States, 19104
Sponsors and Collaborators
University of Pennsylvania
Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research
Principal Investigator: Daniel Weintraub, MD University of Pennsylvania
  More Information

Responsible Party: Daniel Weintraub, Associate Professor, University of Pennsylvania Identifier: NCT01052831     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 810624
Study First Received: January 15, 2010
Results First Received: March 10, 2015
Last Updated: July 13, 2015
Health Authority: United States: Federal Government
United States: Food and Drug Administration
United States: Institutional Review Board

Keywords provided by University of Pennsylvania:
Compulsive Gambling
Compulsive Buying
Compulsive Shopping
Compulsive Eating
Dopamine Agonists
Impulse Control Disorders

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Impulse Control Disorders
Parkinson Disease
Basal Ganglia Diseases
Brain Diseases
Central Nervous System Diseases
Mental Disorders
Movement Disorders
Nervous System Diseases
Neurodegenerative Diseases
Parkinsonian Disorders
Central Nervous System Agents
Narcotic Antagonists
Peripheral Nervous System Agents
Pharmacologic Actions
Physiological Effects of Drugs
Sensory System Agents
Therapeutic Uses processed this record on November 27, 2015