The burden of morbidity and mortality resulting from alcohol dependence is high. World Health Organization (WHO) figures suggest that in the UK the prevalence of alcohol use disorders in those aged 15 years and older is around 6.4% for men and 1.5% for women.1 Reduction of harm resulting from alcohol dependence remains a high priority in all four devolved health services in the UK.2⇓⇓–5 Several medicines are licensed for the maintenance of abstinence in alcohol-dependent patients. However, until recently no drug was licensed for the management of alcohol dependence in people who are still drinking. ▼Nalmefene (Selincro, Lundbeck), an opioid modulator licensed for the reduction of alcohol consumption, was launched in the UK in May 2013.6,7 Here we discuss the evidence for its effectiveness and safety and consider its place in therapy.
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