Treatment options for Alcohol Dependence

Four medications have clinical value in treating patients with alcohol-
use disorders, according to a review in JAMA.

Researchers examined over 120 studies of medications used for alcohol-
use disorders. Some 23,000 patients were enrolled, most after
detoxification or a period of sobriety.

Acamprosate (a glutamine antagonist and γ-aminobutyric acid agonist)
and oral naltrexone (an opioid antagonist) were about equally
effective in preventing resumption of any drinking.

Naltrexone was also effective in reducing heavy drinking, but
acamprosate was not.
Disulfiram (an acetaldehyde dehydrogenase inhibitor) did not reduce
alcohol consumption..

Two off-label medications — nalmefene (an opioid antagonist) and
topiramate (an anticonvulsant) — were associated with improvements in
heavy drinking. There was insufficient evidence for other off-label
drugs, including SSRIs, tricyclic antidepressants, atypical
antipsychotics, and gabapentin.

JAMA article

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s