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Posts Tagged ‘alcoholism’

Reuters (10/26, Pittman) reports that according to a meta analysis of 64 studies published in the journal Addiction, the medications naltrexone (Revia) and acamprosate (Campral) may be good initial treatments of alcoholism. Both acamprosate and naltrexone tended to work better when patients had abstained from alcohol for at least a few days before starting the medications, or had been through a detox program.  Acamprosate is known to calm brain activity, so it can stabilize a brain that gets agitated when an alcoholic stops drinking. Naltrexone,  works on the brain’s reward and reinforcement system, so if people were to drink while on the drug, it would block some of the positive feelings produced by alcohol and keep them from overdoing it.

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Time (3/8, Cloud) reported that, according to a study published in the journal Biological Psychiatry, Chantix (varenicline) “has…helped a group of regular drinkers consume less alcohol.” For the study, conducted by researchers at Yale University, “twenty regular drinkers (defined as those who consume at least one drink per day and, at least once a week, three or more drinks in a single sitting) took varenicline or a placebo daily for a week before showing up for the experiment.” None of the subjects “was dependent on alcohol, and none had tested positive for illicit drugs.” At approximately “3 p.m. on the day of the experiment, all were asked to drink a cocktail of their choosing. Afterward, if they wanted, they could have more cocktails.” The researchers found that “the 10 who had taken varenicline drank an average of just .5 drinks after their first cocktail. By contrast, the 10 who were taking placebos consumed 2.6 drinks.”

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