Several meds may help break the alcohol habit

An analysis of more than 120 studies finds that naltrexone, Forest Labs' (FRX) Campral (acamprosate), J&J's (JNJ) Topamax (topiramate) and H. Lundbeck A/S' Selincro (nalmefene) all helped alcoholics reduce their drinking.

The oldest FDA-approved alcoholism drug, Antabuse (disulfiram), did not prevent a return to the bottle.

Alkermes Plc's (ALKS) injectable Vivitrol (naltrexone) reduced patients' heavy drinking days but there were not enough studies to draw conclusions.

The drugs are underutilized because many primary care physicians refer patients with drinking problems to specialists like drug counselors or to groups like AA. None of these providers can prescribe medicines.

There are almost two dozen drugs that are used off-label to combat alcoholism. No one product works for everyone, though. On average, 12 people need to be treated with acamprosate for one person to benefit. For naltrexone, the ratio is 20:1.

Predictably, the researchers say more studies are needed.

Comments (1)
  • franklinloehde
    , contributor
    Comments (10) | Send Message
    So so foolish when all that is needed is the enzyme that converts the alcohol into sugar which is then metabolized by the cells. It is no different thal lactose intolerence that is easily corrected by a tablet that helps you break down the milk.
    14 May 2014, 06:38 PM Reply Like
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