Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Medication Shows Promise As A Treatment For Alcohol Dependence

Date:
October 10, 2007
Source:
JAMA and Archives Journals
Summary:
Alcohol-dependent patients who received the medication topiramate had fewer heavy drinking days, fewer drinks per day and more days of continuous abstinence than those who received placebo, according to a new study.

Alcohol-dependent patients who received the medication topiramate had fewer heavy drinking days, fewer drinks per day and more days of continuous abstinence than those who received placebo, according to a study in the October 10 issue of JAMA.

Related Articles


According to background information in the article, a previous, shorter trial indicated that topiramate, a medication used in the treatment of seizures, may be beneficial for the treatment of alcohol dependence.

Bankole A. Johnson, D.Sc., M.D., Ph.D., of the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Va., and colleagues conducted a multisite, 14-week, randomized controlled trial to determine the efficacy of topiramate compared with placebo. The study, which included 371 men and women age 18 to 65 years diagnosed with alcohol dependence, was conducted between January 2004 and August 2006 at 17 U.S. sites. The participants received up to 300 mg/day of topiramate (n = 183) or placebo (n = 188), along with a weekly psychosocial treatment to promote adherence with the study medication and the treatment regimen.

Treating all dropouts as relapse to baseline, topiramate compared with placebo recipients showed greater reduction of percentage of heavy drinking days from baseline to week 14 (from an average of 81.9 percent to 43.8 percent for topiramate vs. 82.0 percent to 51.8 percent for placebo; average difference, 8.44 percent). Prespecified analysis also showed that topiramate compared with placebo decreased the percentage of heavy drinking days (average difference, 16.19 percent).

The researchers also found that topiramate compared with placebo treatment was associated with a significantly higher rate of achieving 28 or more days of continuous nonheavy drinking and 28 or more days of continuous abstinence. Adverse events that were more common with topiramate vs. placebo included paresthesia (abnormal skin sensations), taste perversion, anorexia, and difficulty with concentration.

"Our finding in this study that topiramate is a safe and consistently efficacious medication for treating alcohol dependence is scientifically and clinically important. Alcoholism ranks third and fifth on the U.S. and global burdens of disease, respectively. Discovering pharmacological agents such as topiramate that improve drinking outcomes can make a major contribution to global health. Because topiramate pharmacotherapy can be paired with a brief intervention deliverable by nonspecialist health practitioners, a next step would be to examine its efficacy in community practice settings," the authors conclude.

Article Reference: JAMA. 2007;298(14):1641-1651

Editorial: Medications to Treat Alcohol Dependence

In an accompanying editorial, Mark L. Willenbring, M.D., of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Md., writes that alcohol dependence is a disease that needs greater attention in the health care community.

"Alcohol dependence is the third leading modifiable cause of death in the United States, accounting for about 85,000 deaths per year. Reducing incidence, shortening the course, and reducing the severity of episodes are valuable and important goals. Reducing the public health burden will involve addressing the needs of a broader range of patients than can be treated by the specialty treatment system. In particular, it will be important to reduce disability caused by currently untreated episodes of dependence among those with the nonrelapsing form of the illness."

"By historical standards, the pace of medication development for treating this disorder is increasing, and a variety of medications with different modes of action are now available. A solid understanding of the neurobiology of alcohol addiction is providing the framework for multiple avenues of further medication development. The behavioral platform required to support medication treatment is similar to that for depression, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, diabetes, and other chronic illnesses, and thus could potentially fit into general medical practice."

Editorial Reference: JAMA. 2007;298(14):1691-1692.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by JAMA and Archives Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

JAMA and Archives Journals. "Medication Shows Promise As A Treatment For Alcohol Dependence." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 October 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071009164133.htm>.
JAMA and Archives Journals. (2007, October 10). Medication Shows Promise As A Treatment For Alcohol Dependence. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 27, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071009164133.htm
JAMA and Archives Journals. "Medication Shows Promise As A Treatment For Alcohol Dependence." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071009164133.htm (accessed March 27, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Friday, March 27, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

AAA: Distracted Driving a Serious Teen Problem

AAA: Distracted Driving a Serious Teen Problem

AP (Mar. 25, 2015) While distracted driving is not a new problem for teens, new research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety says it&apos;s much more serious than previously thought. (March 25) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smartphone Use Changing Our Brain and Thumb Interaction, Say Researchers

Smartphone Use Changing Our Brain and Thumb Interaction, Say Researchers

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Mar. 25, 2015) European researchers say our smartphone use offers scientists an ideal testing ground for human brain plasticity. Dr Ako Ghosh&apos;s team discovered that the brains and thumbs of smartphone users interact differently from those who use old-fashioned handsets. Jim Drury went to meet him. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Many Don't Know They Have Alzheimer's, But Their Doctors Do

Many Don't Know They Have Alzheimer's, But Their Doctors Do

Newsy (Mar. 24, 2015) According to a new study by the Alzheimer&apos;s Association, more than half of those who have the degenerative brain disease aren&apos;t told by their doctors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
A Quick 45-Minute Nap Can Improve Your Memory

A Quick 45-Minute Nap Can Improve Your Memory

Newsy (Mar. 23, 2015) Researchers found those who napped for 45 minutes to an hour before being tested on information recalled it five times better than those who didn&apos;t. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins