The state of pharmacotherapy for the treatment of alcohol dependence.
ABSTRACT Pharmacotherapy, in conjunction with psychosocial interventions, is emerging as a valuable tool for alcohol dependence treatment. Currently, four agents are approved by the Food and Drug Administration for this purpose: disulfiram, acamprosate, oral naltrexone, and the once-monthly injectable, extended-release naltrexone. All four agents have demonstrated some ability to reduce drinking and/or increase time spent abstinent, but results have not always been consistent. Except disulfiram, which has an aversive mechanism of action, effective pharmacotherapies for alcohol dependence are thought to work by blocking the rewards of alcohol or stabilizing systems dysregulated by chronic alcohol intake. Topiramate and baclofen have also demonstrated some efficacy in treating alcohol dependence. The efficacies of many of these regimens are modest and are limited by patient nonadherence to treatment and disease heterogeneity. Pharmacotherapeutic effectiveness could be enhanced through increased knowledge of the pathophysiology of alcohol dependence, through the identification of predictors of response to specific medications, and by modalities that improve medication adherence.
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ABSTRACT: Disulfiram remains a viable option as a treatment for alcohol dependence and has been shown in recent studies to be successful in treating patients with alco-hol dependence in a manner that is superior to both naltrexone and acamprosate. It is also useful in dual diagnosis patients and those with co-morbid cocaine and alcohol dependence. Although disulfiram's me-chanism of action in alcohol dependence was long thought to be its effects as a psychological deterrent, more recent studies have uncovered potential anti-craving effects as well. Recent reviews exhort to the importance of supervised disulfiram therapy in high-lighting many of the potential and unique benefits of disulfiram. The present article will review the major clinical trials of disulfiram spanning nearly 60 years. It also discusses the usage of disulfiram across diverse populations along with monitoring for compliance and various adverse effects that may be encountered. The paper also reviews certain studies on long acting di-sulfiram therapy, recent comparative trials of disul-firam and its use in alcohol dependence. The review concludes with the role of disulfiram in the present day and long-term pharmacotherapy of alcohol de-pendence along with future research needs in this area.Open Journal of Psychiatry 01/2014; 4(1):43-52. DOI:10.4236/ojpsych.2014.41007
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ABSTRACT: In Peru, the HIV epidemic is concentrated in men who have sex with men (MSM) and transgender women (TGW). Multiple studies correlate alcohol use disorders (AUDs) with risky sexual behaviors among Peruvian MSM. Qualitative research was used to inform a clinical trial on the acceptability of medication-assisted therapies to assist management of AUDs and improve antiretroviral therapy (ART) adherence among MSM/TGW in Peru. Three focus groups involving HIV-infected or HIV-uninfected MSM/TGW (n = 26) with AUDs (AUDIT ≥ 8) were transcribed, translated from Spanish into English, and analyzed using thematic content analysis. Despite having an AUD, participants considered themselves "social" drinkers, minimized their drinking behaviors, and differed about whether or not alcohol problems could be treated. Participants expressed skepticism about medication for treating AUDs. Three concepts emerged as necessary components of a treatment program for alcohol problems: cost, family support, and the potential to drink less alcohol without attaining total abstinence. This study reveals important areas of education to increase potential acceptability of a medication for treating AUDs among MSM/TGW. Given the social conditions and knowledge base of the participants, medication-assisted therapies using naltrexone may be a beneficial strategy for MSM with AUDs. © The Author(s) 2015.American journal of men's health 03/2015; DOI:10.1177/1557988315576775 · 1.15 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Reduction of alcohol consumption is not yet a widely accepted treatment objective for alcohol-dependent patients, as abstinence is often considered to be the only possible objective in this situation. However, various studies have demonstrated the value of proposing these two options to such patients. Firstly, reduction of alcohol consumption very significantly reduces the risk of alcohol-related damage, and also modifies the patient's and the doctor's perception of the disease, resulting in improved access to care and better patient adherence with the proposed treatment objective and consequently better clinical results. Recent studies have shown that some medicinal products can help patients reduce their alcohol consumption. One such product, nalmefene, has been granted European marketing authorization and is now being released onto the market in various countries. The ESENSE 1 and 2 studies in alcohol-dependent patients showed that, in combination with BRENDA, a psychosocial intervention focusing on reinforcement of motivation and treatment adherence, nalmefene significantly reduced the number of heavy drinking days and mean daily total alcohol consumption versus placebo. This reduction was more marked in the marketing authorization target population, ie, patients with a high or very high drinking risk level according to World Health Organization criteria. Another original feature of this molecule is that it can be used as needed if the patient perceives a risk of drinking, which is a more flexible approach and more likely to ensure the patient's active involvement in the treatment of his/her disease. This molecule opens up interesting and original therapeutic prospects in the treatment of alcohol dependence.01/2014; 5:87-94. DOI:10.2147/SAR.S45666