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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.