The main goal of treatment is to work to stop using alcohol and improve quality of life. Treatment may begin with a medically administered detox withdrawal program. Gabapentin, a drug used to treat painful conditions and epilepsy, has been shown to increase withdrawal and reduce excessive alcohol consumption. Those taking the medication also reported fewer cravings for alcohol and improved mood and sleep.
Naltrexone has been shown to reduce days of binge drinking and help promote withdrawal. It can also help control drinking cravings in some people. Is it a daily pill or a monthly injection. WINSLOW, MARY ONYSKO, PharmD, BCPS AND MELANIE HEBERT, MD USA.
UU. The Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends screening adults for alcohol abuse and providing people who engage in risky or hazardous drinking behavior with brief behavioral counseling to reduce alcohol abuse. 4 Table 2 lists the screening methods recommended by the USPSTF that have been validated in 4,5 Although the CAGE questionnaire is familiar to physicians, its accuracy varies in outpatient settings, and the USPSTF does not recommend it. People who consume high-risk alcohol should be counseled to reduce their alcohol consumption, and patients diagnosed with AUD should be offered treatment, such as brief behavioral interventions, support programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous, individual and group therapy, and medications.
A study of more than 43,000 US adults found that only 24% of people with AUD received treatment. 6 Possible reasons for low treatment rates include social stigma of AUD, lack of understanding of AUD as a treatable condition, and physician's lack of familiarity with drug therapy and other treatment options for the disorder. Patients with AUD are at risk of alcohol withdrawal and may require medical treatment for withdrawal before starting treatment. 7 Medications have not been approved for the treatment of AUD in adolescents under 18 years of age; therefore, these patients should be referred for subspecialized treatment.
None of the medicines used to treat AUD have been shown to be completely safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding, so they should be used with caution in women of childbearing potential. A review by the Agency for Research and Quality of Care (AHRQ) that included 135 studies on the pharmacological treatment of AUD in outpatient settings found moderate evidence to support the use of naltrexone and acamprosate, and insufficient evidence to support the use of disulfiram. The review also concluded that there was a lack of evidence for most other drugs, including those not indicated for use on the label and those in trials. However, there is some evidence for topiramate (Topamax) and valproic acid (Depakene).
This drug appears to be more effective in maintaining abstinence in patients who are not currently drinking alcohol, 14 Acamprosate appears to interact with glutamate at the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor, although its exact mechanism is unclear, 15 It is safe in patients with hepatic impairment but should be avoided in patients with severe renal dysfunction. A systematic review of 27 studies involving 7,519 patients using acamprosate found a need-to-treat (NNT) number of 12 to prevent re-drinking. 9 A Cochrane review of 24 trials involving 6,915 patients concluded that acamprosate reduced alcohol consumption compared to placebo (NNT %3D). This may be because enrolled patients were highly motivated to reduce alcohol consumption, which increased the likelihood of success with any treatment, 17 Naltrexone.
Naltrexone, an opioid antagonist, reduces alcohol consumption in patients with AUD and is more successful in those who are abstinent before starting the drug.8 The opioid receptor system mediates the pleasurable effects of alcohol. Alcohol intake stimulates endogenous opioid release and increases dopamine transmission. Naltrexone blocks these effects, reducing euphoria and cravings. Naltrexone is available in long-acting oral and injectable formulations.
A Cochrane review that included 50 randomized trials and 7,793 patients found that oral naltrexone decreased excessive alcohol consumption (NNT %3D) and slightly decreased daily intake (NNT %3D) 2.The number of days of heavy drinking and the amount of alcohol consumed also decreased. Injectable naltrexone did not decrease binge drinking, but the sample size was small, 21 A subsequent systematic review of 53 randomized trials involving 9140 patients found that oral naltrexone increased withdrawal rates (NNT %3D 20%) and decreased excessive alcohol consumption (NNT %3D 1.No was there a difference between naltrexone and acamprosate. Injectable naltrexone showed no benefit, 9 A randomized trial of 627 veterans with AUD who received injectable naltrexone or placebo found that 380 mg of naltrexone administered intramuscularly decreased binge drinking days for six months, but did not increase withdrawal rates. no differences were found in excessive alcohol consumption between acamprosate and naltrexone; however, it favored acamprosate for withdrawal and naltrexone for cravings, 14 Combination therapy studies with acamprosate and naltrexone showed mixed results.
The COMBINE study did not show that combination therapy was more effective than either drug alone, 23 Another study showed that relapse rates were lower with combination therapy compared to placebo or acamprosate alone, but not compared to naltrexone alone, 24 It is not clear whether combination therapy should, although it may be reasonable to consider it if monotherapy fails. Opioid antagonists may also be useful when used as needed during high-risk situations, such as social events or weekends. Topiramate appears to reduce alcohol consumption. The AHRQ review concluded that there is moderate evidence that topiramate decreases the number of days of alcohol consumption, days of binge drinking, and drinks per day, according to two randomized trials, 12,27,28. An open study compared topiramate plus psychotherapy with psychotherapy alone in hospitalized patients after alcohol consumption.
withdrawal treatment. The topiramate group had lower rates of depression and anxiety and a lower relapse rate after four months.29 However, a randomized trial of 106 patients did not observe a difference in alcohol consumption between topiramate therapy and placebo. 30 Another randomized trial found that topiramate increased withdrawal rates in patients with a specific genetic polymorphism, 31 This use of drugs targeted for specific populations warrants further study. Pregabalin is classified as a controlled substance and there are limited data on its use in AUD.
In a randomized trial comparing pregabalin and naltrexone in 71 patients, no differences were found in alcohol consumption outcomes or cravings, but the pregabalin group had less anxiety, hostility, and psychotic symptoms, 35 Antidepressants. Antidepressants are not effective in decreasing alcohol consumption in people without coexisting mental health disorders, 36 However, antidepressants may be useful in some cases, because patients with AUD often have coexisting mental health disorders. A trial randomized 170 patients with alcohol dependence and depression to 14 weeks of cognitive behavioral therapy plus sertraline (Zoloft; 200 mg per day), naltrexone (100 mg per day), both drugs, or twice as much placebo. Those taking a combination of sertraline and naltrexone had higher withdrawal rates and a longer delay before relapsing to heavy alcohol consumption compared to those taking placebo or either drug alone.
Neither drug alone was superior to placebo, 37 A study of patients with AUD and major depression found that 20 to 40 mg daily of fluoxetine (Prozac) reduced alcohol consumption, drinking days, and binge drinking days for 12 weeks, 38 There is no conclusive evidence on the effectiveness of treatment of AUD with atypical antipsychotics olanzapine (Zyprexa) and quetiapine (Seroquel). Ondansetron (Zofran) May Decrease Alcohol Consumption in Patients With AUD. In three studies, ondansetron (4 mcg per kg twice daily) combined with cognitive behavioral therapy decreased alcohol consumption and cravings and increased abstinence in young adults with early AUD, 39—41 In another trial, a higher dose of ondansetron (16 mcg per kg twice daily) combined with cognitive therapy- behavioral decrease in depression, anxiety and hostility, 42 This effect may be due to the serotonin-3 antagonist properties of ondansetron. In another randomized trial, men who took ondansetron (8 mg twice daily) had fewer days of binge drinking compared to those taking placebo, although they did not have increased withdrawal rates.
43 The combination of ondansetron (4 mcg per kg twice daily) and naltrexone (25 mg twice daily) may be effective in early treatment of AUD, 43 Commonly studied doses (4 to 16 mcg per kg twice daily) are much lower than currently available formulations of 4 mg and 8 mg tablets. There is inconclusive evidence to support Baclofen (Lioresal) and several supplements for AUD. Gamma hydroxybutyrate is used in some countries to treat AUD; however, due to its effects on the central nervous system and its possible use as a date rape drug, it is not recommended, 44. Do you think you may have COVID-19? Find out where you can get tested Do you need a vaccine or a booster? Schedule Today Are you coming to a Cleveland clinic? Visitation and Mask Requirements Alcohol use disorder is a medical condition that involves frequent or excessive use of alcohol. People with alcohol use disorder can't stop drinking, even if it causes problems, emotional distress, or physical harm to themselves or others.
Alcohol use disorder is a medical condition. It is a disease of brain function and requires medical and psychological treatments to control it. Alcohol use disorder can be mild, moderate, or severe. It can develop rapidly or over a long period of time.
Also called alcohol dependence, alcohol addiction, or alcohol abuse. Alcohol use that becomes a use disorder develops in stages. There is no single laboratory test for alcohol use disorder. The diagnosis is based on a conversation with your healthcare provider.
The diagnosis is made when alcohol consumption interferes with your life or affects your health. The treatment environment will depend on the stage of recovery and the severity of the disease. You may need inpatient medical care (hospital), residential rehabilitation (rehabilitation), outpatient intensive care, or outpatient maintenance. If you drink more alcohol than that, consider cutting back or quitting smoking.
Talk to your healthcare provider about proven strategies. Your prognosis depends on many factors. Milder cases can only be problematic for a period of time. Severe cases are often a lifelong struggle.
The sooner you recognize that there may be a problem and talk to your healthcare provider, the better your chances of recovery.
Alcoholics Anonymousis available almost everywhere and provides a place to talk openly and without prejudice about alcohol problems with others who have suffered from alcohol. No matter how desperate alcohol use disorder may seem, treatment can help. If you think you might have a problem with alcohol, call SAMHSA or talk to your healthcare provider.
They can help you cope, develop a treatment plan, prescribe medications, and refer you to support programs. Cleveland Clinic is a nonprofit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services.
The goal is to change the thought processes that lead to alcohol abuse and develop the skills needed to cope with everyday situations that could cause problems with alcohol consumption. In 1982, the French company Laboratoires Meram developed acamprosate for the treatment of alcohol dependence. It may also be helpful to determine if treatment will adapt to meet changing needs as they arise. NIAAA offers a resource called the Alcohol Treatment Navigator to help anyone seeking treatment for themselves or a loved one.
The Combining Medications and Behavioral Interventions for Alcohol Dependence (COMBINE) study produced some surprising results when it revealed that one of the newest drugs used to treat alcoholism did not improve treatment outcomes on its own. Medications for alcoholism can offer patients an advantage in their recovery, especially in a real environment. Alcohol use disorder (AUD) is a disease that occurs when alcohol significantly impairs a person's health and functioning. The Preventive Services Working Group recommends that physicians screen adults for alcohol abuse and provide people who engage in risky or hazardous behavior with alcohol with brief behavioral counseling.
The way this process works is when people normally drink alcohol, endorphins are released in the brain and this reinforces drinking behavior. Campral (Acamprosate) is the most recent drug approved for the treatment of alcohol dependence or alcoholism in the U. But overcoming an alcohol use disorder is an ongoing process and you may relapse (start drinking again). At the end of four to six months of treatment with the Sinclair Method, 80 percent of people who had consumed alcohol excessively were drinking moderately or abstained completely.