Comparing and combining gamma-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB) and naltrexone in maintaining abstinence from alcohol: an open randomised comparative study.
Author(s): Caputo F, Addolorato G, Stoppo M, Francini S, Vignoli T, Lorenzini F, Del Re A, Comaschi C, Andreone P, Trevisani F, Bernardi M, Alcohol Treatment Study Group
Affiliation(s): G. Fontana Centre for the Study and Multidisciplinary Treatment of Alcohol Addiction, Department of Internal Medicine, Cardioangiology and Hepatology, University of Bologna, Via Massarenti 9, 40138 Bologna, Italy. email@example.com
Publication date & source: 2007-12, Eur Neuropsychopharmacol., 17(12):781-9. Epub 2007 Jul 3.
Publication type: Clinical Trial; Comparative Study; Randomized Controlled Trial; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
Maintaining abstinence from alcohol is the main goal in treating alcohol dependence. Our aim was to evaluate the efficacy of gamma-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB) and naltrexone (NTX), and their combination in maintaining abstinence. Fifty-five alcoholics were randomly enrolled in three groups and treated for 3 months with GHB, GHB plus NTX, and NTX, respectively. At the end of treatments, abstinence was maintained by 13 patients (72.2%) in combination group, 8 patients (40%; P=0.03) in GHB group, and one patient (5.9%; P=0.0001) in NTX group. Relapses in heavy drinking tended to occur more frequently in GHB group (15%) than in either combination group (no cases) or NTX group (5.9%), but such differences were not statistically significant. The GHB/NTX combination was more effective than either drug given alone; this suggests that the two drugs combine their different actions synergistically without suppressing the favourable effects of each other.