Effect of oral acamprosate on abstinence in patients with alcohol dependence in a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial: the role of patient motivation.
ABSTRACT This is the first US study to evaluate the clinical efficacy of acamprosate (Campral), a newly FDA-approved medication for maintaining abstinence in patients with alcohol dependence following alcohol withdrawal. We compared effects of the standard 2 g dose (n=258) and an exploratory 3 g dose of acamprosate (n=83) versus placebo (n=260), and evaluated drug safety in a double-blind, placebo-controlled 6-month trial conducted in 21 outpatient clinics across the US. Participants were 601 volunteers with current alcohol dependence recruited primarily by advertisement. All patients concomitantly received eight sessions of brief manual-guided counseling (www.alcoholfree.info). The main outcome measure was the percentage of alcohol-free days over the 6-month study. Self-report was validated by breath alcohol concentration, gamma-glutamyltransferase (GGT) and collateral informant interviews. The percentage of abstinent days did not differ significantly across groups in a priori analysis (54.3% for placebo, 56.1% for 2 g, 60.7% for 3 g). Post-hoc analysis controlling for baseline variables and treatment exposure found acamprosate was associated with a significantly higher percentage of abstinent days than placebo (52.3% for placebo, 58.2% for 2 g, 62.7% for 3 g; P=0.01), with an even greater effect in the subgroup of 241 patients having a baseline goal of abstinence (58.1% for placebo, 70.0% for 2 g, 72.5% for 3 g; P=0.02). There were no deaths or serious drug-related adverse events. The US study findings suggest that acamprosate is safe and well tolerated in a broadly inclusive sample of alcoholics and appears effective in populations of patients motivated to have a treatment goal of abstinence.
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ABSTRACT: Alcoholism is a serious public health concern that is characterized by the development of tolerance to alcohol's effects, increased consumption, loss of control over drinking and the development of physical dependence. This cycle is often times punctuated by periods of abstinence, craving and relapse. The development of tolerance and the expression of withdrawal effects, which manifest as dependence, have been to a great extent attributed to neuroadaptations within the mesocorticolimbic and extended amygdala systems. Alcohol affects various neurotransmitter systems in the brain including the adrenergic, cholinergic, dopaminergic, GABAergic, glutamatergic, peptidergic, and serotonergic systems. Due to the myriad of neurotransmitter and neuromodulator systems affected by alcohol, the efficacies of current pharmacotherapies targeting alcohol dependence are limited. Importantly, research findings of changes in glutamatergic neurotransmission induced by alcohol self- or experimenter-administration have resulted in a focus on therapies targeting glutamatergic receptors and normalization of glutamatergic neurotransmission. Glutamatergic receptors implicated in the effects of ethanol include the ionotropic glutamate receptors (AMPA, Kainate, and NMDA) and some metabotropic glutamate receptors. Regarding glutamatergic homeostasis, ceftriaxone, MS-153, and GPI-1046, which upregulate glutamate transporter 1 (GLT1) expression in mesocorticolimbic brain regions, reduce alcohol intake in genetic animal models of alcoholism. Given the hyperglutamatergic/hyperexcitable state of the central nervous system induced by chronic alcohol abuse and withdrawal, the evidence thus far indicates that a restoration of glutamatergic concentrations and activity within the mesocorticolimbic system and extended amygdala as well as multiple memory systems holds great promise for the treatment of alcohol dependence.Frontiers in Neuroscience 04/2015; 9:144. DOI:10.3389/fnins.2015.00144
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ABSTRACT: The British Association for Psychopharmacology guidelines for the treatment of substance abuse, harmful use, addiction and comorbidity with psychiatric disorders primarily focus on their pharmacological management. They are based explicitly on the available evidence and presented as recommendations to aid clinical decision making for practitioners alongside a detailed review of the evidence. A consensus meeting, involving experts in the treatment of these disorders, reviewed key areas and considered the strength of the evidence and clinical implications. The guidelines were drawn up after feedback from participants. The guidelines primarily cover the pharmacological management of withdrawal, short- and long-term substitution, maintenance of abstinence and prevention of complications, where appropriate, for substance abuse or harmful use or addiction as well management in pregnancy, comorbidity with psychiatric disorders and in younger and older people.Journal of Psychopharmacology 05/2012; 26(7):899-952. DOI:10.1177/0269881112444324 · 2.81 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: It is unknown whether women derive comparable benefits and have a similar safety and tolerability profile as men from acamprosate, a widely prescribed drug for the maintenance of abstinence in alcohol dependence. The objective of this study was to assess sex-specific differences in the efficacy, safety, and tolerability of acamprosate in the treatment of women and men with alcohol dependence. A sex-specific meta-analysis was conducted based on individual patient data (IPD). Data were obtained from double-blind, randomized controlled trials with quantitative drinking measures in patients with alcohol dependence receiving oral acamprosate or placebo. Sources included PubMed, PsychInfo, and Cochrane electronic databases; reference lists from retrieved articles and presentations at professional meetings; and direct access to authors and companies who provided IPD. Individual records were obtained from 1,317 women and 4,794 men who participated in 22 eligible studies conducted in 18 countries. IPD meta-analyses found a significant beneficial effect of acamprosate relative to placebo across all 4 efficacy end points: an incremental gain of 10.4% (95% CI 7.1 to 13.7, p < 0.001) in percentage of abstinent days, an incremental gain of 11.0% (7.4 to 14.6, p < 0.001) in percentage of no heavy drinking days, an odds ratio of 1.9 (1.6 to 2.2, p < 0.001) for rate of complete abstinence, and an odds ratio of 1.9 (1.6 to 2.3, p < 0.001) for rate of no heavy drinking, over the study duration. Acamprosate was also associated with significantly higher rates of treatment completion (p = 0.004) and medication compliance (p < 0.001) than placebo. Men and women did not differ on any measure of acamprosate efficacy, safety, or tolerability. This sex-specific IPD meta-analysis provides evidence that acamprosate has a significant effect compared with placebo in improving rates of abstinence and no heavy drinking in both women and men with alcohol dependence. Further, acamprosate was associated with significantly higher rates of treatment completion and medication compliance than placebo among both women and men and had a comparable safety and tolerability profile.Alcoholism Clinical and Experimental Research 09/2011; 36(3):497-508. DOI:10.1111/j.1530-0277.2011.01616.x · 3.31 Impact Factor