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

Ondansetron alters human alcohol intoxication.

There is considerable evidence that serotonin-3 (5-HT3) receptor antagonists modulate some of the behavioral effects of alcohol, and may decrease alcohol consumption. To better clarify the mechanism of action of 5-HT3 antagonists on these behaviors, we investigated the effects of the 5-HT3 antagonist, ondansetron, on several subjective and objective measures of alcohol intoxication in social drinkers. Twelve nonalcoholic, social drinkers received either 8 mg ondansetron, p.o., or placebo during one of two test sessions in a crossover, double-blind protocol. Both conditions were followed by a standard, intoxicating dose of alcohol. Subjective and objective measures of intoxication including mood, physical sensations, performance changes, and alcohol pharmacokinetics were determined. To control for ondansetron effects, 10 additional subjects received either ondansetron or placebo, followed by a nonintoxicating, "placebo" dose of alcohol during a second crossover double-blind protocol. Ondansetron was found to augment certain stimulant, sedative, and discriminant effects of alcohol, without affecting psychomotor performance or alcohol pharmacokinetics. Ondansetron had minimal effects on subjects receiving placebo alcohol. These data suggest that the reductions in alcohol consumption observed in animals and humans treated with ondansetron may be mediated by increases in subjective intoxication, and/or increases in the aversive effects of alcohol.[1]


  1. Ondansetron alters human alcohol intoxication. Swift, R.M., Davidson, D., Whelihan, W., Kuznetsov, O. Biol. Psychiatry (1996) [Pubmed]
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