Skip to comments.Anti-alcoholism' drug cleared for use in France
Posted on 08/28/2012 2:20:58 PM PDT by cycjec
French health authorities have approved the use of a drug, originally designed to treat nervous spasms, for the treatment of alcoholism on a "case by case" basis.
AFSSAPS, the regulator that authorises drugs, said that while the drug Baclofen had not been definitively shown to be efficient in the treatment of alcoholism, it had shown "clinical benefits in some patients". It recommended in a statement that Baclofen -- the lab name for a medication branded as Kemstro, Lioresal and Gablofen -- should be considered on a "case by case" basis. The history of the drug goes back 50 years. It was originally designed for epilepsy before becoming licensed to treat spasticity, but researchers are now interested in using it to ease alcoholic craving. Interest was sparked in 2008 by a book, "Le Dernier Verre" (The Last Drink), by cardiologist Olivier Ameisen, who self-treated his alcoholism with high doses of Baclofen. The AFSSAPS statement came after French doctors said last month that the drug had cleared an important early test. The trial entailed enrolling 132 heavy drinkers who were given Baclofen at high doses over a year. Eighty percent either became abstinent or turned into moderate drinkers. By comparison, two drugs that are commonly used to treat alcoholics, naltrexon and acamprosate, yield a success rate of 20-25 percent. Side effects included fatigue, drowsiness, insomnia, dizziness and digestive troubles. Lead researcher Philippe Jaury of the University of Paris-Descartes said the outcome opened the door to one-year clinical trials, expected to start in May, in which 320 alcoholics would be divided into two groups. One batch will receive Baclofen, progressively building in dosage until the craving symptoms subside, while the others will receive an inactive look-a-like pill, or placebo. France's health system is paying 750,000 euros ($469,000) of the 1.2-million-euro ($1.45-million) cost of the trial, and an unidentified donor is paying the rest, Jaury told AFP. The pre-trial study was published in a specialist journal, Alcohol and Alcoholism.
Read more at: http://medicalxpress.com/news/2012-04-anti-alcoholism-drug-france.html#jCp
“An important step forward.”
I think a step forward and some self resposibilty, instead of a step into the liquor store would be more effective.
If this drug proves to be effective to any noticeable degree the benefits to this nation would be incalculable.
Put down the glass, step away from the bottle, you’re treated.
Cured? probably not but if you avoid the need for treatment it works out to the same result.
I wonder if this medicine ‘covers’ receptors in the brain to prevent the desire to consume alcohol, similar to how Methadone/Buprenorphine works for folks who are addicted to Opiates. Either way, I hope it works out.
...And I wish I could waive a magic wand and have a billion dollars. Sometimes it just doesn't work out so easily.
That's compelling. You generally don't see those kinds of positive results in drug trials. Baclofen, which has been around forever as a muscle relaxant, modulates a GABA receptor in a similar way to benzos, and also, GHB (vulgarly called the date rape drug), but doesn't act directly upon the GHB receptor, which is good because that would imply a heightened risk for dependence or abuse, particularly in this population. That'd take it off the table.
The finding is Baclofen relaxes those in an acute withdrawal phase minimizing craving and tamping down anxiety levels in alcohol dependent users beyond the crisis. Lots of people habitually overindulge specifically to reduce sometimes severe anxiety as a form of self-medication and get into trouble when they can't control intake.
So, this approach makes sense if they've found it to be entirely without abuse potential. 80% success rate is actually phenomenal, but it's just one trial. Our own lovable FDA should be able to get this approved sometime before the turn of the century. That's your govt in action.
Yeah, exactly. It hits an inhibitory neurotransmitter called GABA b, modulating it, and thereby increasing its relaxing effects upon the autonomic nervous system.
Acts on a different receptor site from Opiate-like drugs, though, which I think hit dopamine sites.
Seems distinctly possible.An example of what you're suggesting...in addition to having seen alcohol's devastation during my tenure at the hospital I also saw many,many heroin OD's.Part of the standard treatment for these OD's was the immediate administration of an opioid antagonist medication called naloxone.Shortly after administration the patient,who about 30 seconds earlier was clinically dead,was up,talking and usually demanding to leave.A true miracle drug.Just one of the examples that I've seen of what an amazing thing the human brain is.
I'm certainly not opposed to this drug, but I do not like seeing a supposed conservative use the liberal argument that a particular behavior "costs" us some unprovable amount of money.
>>...And I wish I could waive a magic wand and have a billion dollars. Sometimes it just doesn’t work out so easily<<
Whereas way too many things and people are “diagnosed” with “addictions,” alcohol is a tough SOB and is, other than smoking, one of the worst.
But the sanctimony will be continue to be quite on display here.
If you've got a month or so I'll try to summarize the things I saw that were connected to excessive alcohol consumptions.Listed in no particular order...murder,suicide,child abuse,spousal abuse,numerous conditions of the brain,heart and GI tract,etc,car accidents,lost wages,lost jobs.
While I agree that it is, ultimately, a matter of personal responsibility, I’ve seen alcohol dependency on a deep enough level that some people are literally driven to drink.
When it’s that deep, the only hope is a forcible separation for at least a couple of months is the only real solution and not everybody has the resources to go away for a couple of months, and at least in my local area, there are no resources available to allow people to put themselves under psychiatric care long enough to have a sense of normalcy when it comes to not having a drink.
I understand completely. If you took my comment to mean that I don't comprehend the evils of alcohol, then you're dead-wrong.
But it costs the individuals involved. Not some mythical "society." Guess you don't get the distinction.
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