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Drug found effective in treating alcoholism

Teresa Tanoos's picture

In a new clinical trial, an anticonvulsant drug has been found to be effective in treating alcoholism, according to a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine.

The goal of the study was to determine if the generic form of the anticonvulsant drug, gabapentin, worked in curbing an alcoholic’s desire to drink and reducing alcohol-related insomnia, while also increasing rates of sustained abstinence. The study was conducted at an outpatient clinical research facility from 2004 to 2010, with 150 alcohol-dependent men and women over 18 years old participating.

The results of the double blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial were impressive, with gabapentin significantly improving the rates at which those taking it were able to stop drinking and sustain abstinence, compared with those who took a placebo.

Gabapentin was found to be especially effective in an 1800-mg dosage, as such dosage proved helpful for not only alcohol dependence treatment, but also for treating relapse-related symptoms of alcoholism, such as insomnia, dysphoria and craving – all with few side effects and a favorable safety profile.

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Researchers for the study concluded that the alcoholics who took gabapentin significantly increased the likelihood that they would stop drinking or otherwise drink less than those who took the placebo instead. Those taking gabapentin were also found to have improved sleep, improved mood and fewer cravings for alcohol, without any major side effects.

The researchers also said that it would be a major benefit if gabapentin were used more in the primary care setting as a drug treatment option for alcoholics.

Currently, there are very few FDA-approved medications for treating alcohol dependence. Yet there are 18 million people in the United States who suffer from alcohol-related disorders, according to the National Institutes of Health, with only three drugs available that have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat them.

Study researcher, Barbara Mason, who is with the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California, said that this latest clinical trial shows just how effective gabapentin could be for treating alcohol dependence, as the drug showed even more positive results when compared with the three existing treatments approved by the FDA.

She also pointed out that gabapentin is the only drug that has also been proven effective for improving the sleep quality and moods of those taking it as they stop drinking.

SOURCE: JAMA Internal Medicine, http://archinte.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1764009, Barbara J. Mason, PhD; Susan Quello, BA, BS; et al, published November 4, 2013 (doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.11950).



A recent Gallup poll published in Foxnews Sept. 2012 found that more than 50 percent answered they drink one to seven drinks a week and 22 percent of drinkers said they sometimes drink too much, up from 17 percent last year. 39 percent of those surveyed said beer, 35 percent said wine and 22 percent said liquor. To overcome addiction we often have to change other things as well. In the case of alcoholics, they could be allergic to wheat, which then can not be digested properly which causes it to ferment in the gut. This fermentation causes the formation of ethyl alcohol, And, as one drink (alcohol) leads to another, off you go, back on it, but caused by something you ate rather than drink. By the way, undigested potatoes ferment as well in the gut and produce alcohol, which is exactly the way to make vodka, and this can lead to another drinking bout. When tested for potato allergies they are found to be quite common. As one doctor told me; 'Potato allergy is supposed to be rare, but the more we test for it, the more we find it”. I recommend an allergy test for those who suffer from alcoholism to find out what the causes are rather than spend a whole lifetime trying to prevent and overcome the drinking of alcoholic beverages, or taking pills for every ills.
Just started taken gabapentin for bac problems 300mg makes iritable and give me the shakes
Back and neck problems, stiff muscles or joints, tendinitis, arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis are all symptoms associated with food intolerance, and your back pain is more than likely not caused by a lack of Gabapentin. Gabapentin may cause a list of side effects as long as your arm. 'Side effects' is another way of describing allergic responses drowsiness tiredness or weakness dizziness headache uncontrollable shaking of a part of your body double or blurred vision unsteadiness anxiety Memory problems strange or unusual thoughts unwanted eye movements nausea vomiting heartburn diarrhea dry mouth constipation increased appetite weight gain swelling of the hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs back or joint pain BACK OR JOINT PAIN fever runny nose, sneezing, cough, sore throat, or flu-like symptoms ear pain red, itchy eyes (sometimes with swelling or discharge) Some side effects may be serious. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately: rash itching swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, or eyes hoarseness difficulty swallowing or breathing seizures
Gabapentin (Neurontin) is a pharmaceutical drug, specifically a GABA analog. It was originally developed to treat epilepsy, and currently is also used to relieve neuropathic pain. There are, however, concerns regarding the quality of the trials conducted for a number of conditions.[1] (Read Wikipedia)