Migraine drug may help fight alcoholism

November 14th, 2007 - 1:59 am ICT by admin  
The finding was based on a multisite clinical trial conducted under the supervision of Professor Bankole Johnson, D.Sc., M.D., Ph.D., M.Phil., FRCPsych., who is chairman of the UVa Department of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences.

“Topiramate has emerged as a promising treatment for people with alcohol dependence,” Johnson said.

Johnson said that the effective medicine could be delivered with a brief intervention by non-specialists, which could help people combat alcoholism disease.

“One of our next steps is to directly study topiramate’s efficacy in treating alcoholics within community practice settings.” Johnson said.

In the 14 -week study 371 male and female alcoholics, who were drinking heavily at the time of entering the trial, were randomly selected to take topiramate, up to 300 mg/day, or placebo.

All of the participants had a weekly 15-minute intervention with a trained nurse to enhance their adherence to the medication and treatment regimen.

he analysis of the trial showed that topiramate lowered the percentage of heavy drinking days, the number of days in which men and women consumed 5 drinks per day and 4 drinks per day, respectively, divided by the number of study days by a mean of 8.44 percent more than placebo.

It was found that the topiramate group had a reduction from 82 percent to a mean of 44 percent heavy drinking days during the 14 weeks, whereas the placebo group had a reduction from 82 percent to a mean of 52 percent heavy drinking days.

The second analysis tested the study hypothesis for all the participants who took at least one study medication dose and had at least one double-blind site visit.

The analysis revealed that topiramate was more efficacious than placebo, as it lowered the percentage of heavy drinking days by a mean of 16.19 percent more than placebo.

The study is published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. (ANI)

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