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ACAMPROSATE APPEARS TO DECREASE ALCOHOL INTAKE IN WEANED ALCOHOLICS

J. P. LHUINTRE , N. MOORE , G. TRAN , L. STERU , S. LANGRENON , S. DAOUST , Ph. PAROT , Ph. LADURE , C. LIBERT , F. BOISMARE , B. HILLEMAND
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/ 613-622 First published online: 1 January 1990

Abstract

Five hundred and sixty-nine alcoholics were included in a double-blind placebo-controlled randomized multicenter study of the effects of Acamprosate (calcium acetylhomo-taurinate (CA), 1.3 g/day) on indicators of alcoholic relapse after withdrawal. One hundred and eighty-one patients in the CA group versus 175 in the placebo group completed the three-month study. The major efficacy criterion was plasma gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT), as an indicator of recent alcohol ingestion. This analysis was completed by criteria concordance analysis on a number of indicators of alcohol intake.

Patients in both groups were similar initially. After 3 months of treatment, the patients in the CA group had significantly lower GGT (1.4±1.56 versus 2.0±3.19 times normal, P = 0.016). All significant differences (P < 0.05) or trends (0.10 > P > 0.05) were in favor of a superior effect of CA over placebo. The major side-effect of CA was diarrhea (present in 13% of CA patients versus 7% of placebo, P = 0.04).

CA proved superior to placebo on the evolution of markers of alcohol ingestion at three months, in this large-scale multicenter study. It could be a new modality in the drug therapy of alcoholism, not involving an antabuse effect, an antidepressant action, or conditioning.

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