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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

New pharmacotherapies for alcohol dependence.

Two pharmacotherapies recently introduced in Australia, acamprosate and naltrexone, provide a major advance in the treatment of severe alcohol dependence, a common condition leading to a considerable burden of illness and major costs to the community. Acamprosate and naltrexone reduce alcohol intake, and increase the likelihood and prolong the duration of abstinence (Level I evidence). Compared with naltrexone, the benefits of acamprosate have been confirmed in a larger number of studies involving larger numbers of patients with longer durations of follow-up. Unlike naltrexone, acamprosate appears to achieve a sustained benefit. There is no known interaction effect between alcohol and acamprosate or naltrexone. Both drugs are well tolerated, although naltrexone blocks the action of opioid analgesics. Adjunctive psychosocial treatment with close follow-up is required for acamprosate and recommended for naltrexone. As yet, no studies have reported a reduction in mortality following the use of any pharmacotherapy for alcohol dependence.[1]


  1. New pharmacotherapies for alcohol dependence. Graham, R., Wodak, A.D., Whelan, G. Med. J. Aust. (2002) [Pubmed]
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