Study Aims To Determine Which, If Any, Medication-Assisted Treatment For Alcohol Dependence Is Effective

Medication-Assisted Treatment | Just Believe Recovery PA

In This Article

Study Aims To Determine Which, If Any, Medication-Assisted Treatment For Alcohol Dependence Is Effective

Researchers recently published a study in the journal Addiction that examined 32 randomized controlled trials of medications indicated to treat alcohol use disorders. They included pharmaceutical drugs such as acamprosate, baclofen, nalmefene, naltrexone, and topiramate.

What they concluded is this: there is not enough evidence that these medications are effective at treating alcoholism. Specifically, they revealed that neither acamprosate or naltrexone is effective at reducing overall alcohol use, which was the primary outcome of the investigation.

They did find that the other medications were more effective than placebo at lowering alcohol consumption, but the studies that revealed positive outcomes for these drugs had significant design flaws, such as unreliable reporting by study participants.

From the study:

“Overall, there is no evidence for a significant reduction in serious adverse events or mortality. As for studies on substances aiming to maintain abstinence, no study was designed with sufficient power, and study durations were inadequate to investigate these health outcomes.”

Also, some of the medications, such as acamprosate and topiramate can cause severe side effects when used with alcohol. And according to an analysis of the study population, this was a common occurrence. Some studies were compromised by high rates of participants dropping out.

“Indirect comparisons suggested that topiramate was superior to nalmefene, naltrexone, and acamprosate on consumption outcomes, but its safety profile is known to be poor.”

Commentary

If drugs such as these are going to continue to be used as medication-assisted treatment, they need to be scientifically validated.

About The Medications

Nalmefene and naltrexone are opioid antagonists, which means they are indicated to lessen the pleasurable effects of alcohol use, and therefore, reduce consumption.

Acamprosate is intended to treat chemical imbalances that can exacerbate alcohol addiction.

Baclofen is a central nervous system depressant and muscle relaxer and is used to treat the withdrawal symptoms of alcohol and benzodiazepines.

Topiramate is an anti-convulsive and is prescribed off-label for the treatment of alcohol dependence.

~ G. Nathalee Serrels, M.A., Psychology

References

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/add.13974/abstract

What Are Synthetic Opioids? | Just Believe Recovery PA

What Are Synthetic Opioids?

Synthetic opioids are a category of human-made drugs that have a chemical makeup comparable to natural opiates and semi-synthetic opioids derived from the opium poppy.

Read More »
Signs of Addiction | Just Believe Recovery Pennsylvania

Signs of Addiction

Many individuals begin to use substances out of curiosity, due to peer pressure, or as a misguided attempt to cope with everyday stress or a

Read More »

Just Believe Recovery is a fully licensed, Joint Commission accredited, comprehensive drug and alcohol treatment center located in Carbondale, Pennsylvania

Let's Connect

🔒 Your information is safe & secure

Sidebar Contact

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
What Are Synthetic Opioids? | Just Believe Recovery PA
Abused Substances

What Are Synthetic Opioids?

Synthetic opioids are a category of human-made drugs that have a chemical makeup comparable to natural opiates and semi-synthetic opioids derived from the opium poppy.

Read More »
How to Stop Smoking Weed | Just Believe Recovery PA
Abused Substances

How to Stop Smoking Weed

Due to broad legalization and approval for medical purposes, marijuana use in the United States is at a record high. At the time of this

Read More »
Women, Drugs, and Prisons | Just Believe Recovery PA
Addiction

Women, Drugs, and Prisons

There has been a rise in the incarceration of women in the United States. In the past quarter-century, there has been an undeniable change for

Read More »

We Believe Recovery Is Possible For Everyone.

Our dedicated admissions team is standing by to answer any questions you might have.

You don’t have to do this alone. Call today!