Different Medications Used for Alcoholism

Knoxville, TN (PressExposure) June 09, 2009 -- Like the use of street drugs such as heroin or morphine, alcohol is also considered as one of the major causes of addiction which is called alcoholism. Considered as a sedative similar to the effects of barbiturates, benzodiazepines, and methaqualone, alcohol has been known to develop an addicting sensation when taken abusively. Part of the many victims of alcoholism are adolescents, which is why different kinds of adolescent addiction treatment have been developed to help people including adolescents overcome their addiction to alcohol. Part of the many treatments used for alcoholism is the use of medications. These medications include:


o Also commonly called as disulfiram, this drug causes severe discomfort when alcohol is ingested: an extremely fast-acting and long-lasting uncomfortable hangover. This discourages an alcoholic from drinking in significant amounts while they take the medicine. o A recent 9-year study found that incorporation of supervised disulfiram and a related compound carbamide into a comprehensive treatment program resulted in an abstinence rate of over 50%.


o Unlike antabuse or disulfiram, naltrexone works by blocking the sensation people get when drinking alcohol, thus alcoholics lose the interest to ingest any more alcoholic drinks.

o This drug is also known for its use as treatment for opioid dependence.

o Naltrexone is used in two very different forms of treatment. The first treatment uses naltrexone to decrease cravings for alcohol and encourage abstinence. The other treatment, called pharmacological extinction, combines naltrexone with normal drinking habits in order to reverse the endorphin conditioning that causes alcohol addiction. This results in a reduced desire to drink that persists after naltrexone use is discontinued, as long as the patient always takes naltrexone before drinking.


o As adolescent addiction treatment for alcoholism, this drug has been cited to stabilize the chemical balance of the brain that would otherwise be disrupted by alcoholism.

o The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved this drug in 2004, saying "While its mechanism of action is not fully understood, Campral is thought to act on the brain pathways related to alcohol abuse... Campral proved superior to placebo in maintaining abstinence for a short period of time..."


o Other than its principal use as treatment for epilepsy, this drug has also been found effective in helping alcoholics quit or cut back on the amount they drink.

o In one study made on the adolescent addiction treatment and its effects, heavy drinkers were six times more likely to remain abstinent for a month if they took the medication, even in small doses. Another study suggests that those who received topiramate had fewer heavy drinking days, fewer drinks per day and more days of continuous abstinence than those who received the place.

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Press Release Submitted On: June 09, 2009 at 6:44 am
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