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Improvement of physical health and quality of life of alcohol-dependent individuals with topiramate treatment: US multisite randomized controlled trial.

Author(s): Johnson BA, Rosenthal N, Capece JA, Wiegand F, Mao L, Beyers K, McKay A, Ait-Daoud N, Addolorato G, Anton RF, Ciraulo DA, Kranzler HR, Mann K, O'Malley SS, Swift RM, Topiramate for Alcoholism Advisory Board, Topiramate for Alcoholism Study Group

Affiliation(s): Department of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22908-0623, USA. bankolejohnson@virginia.edu

Publication date & source: 2008-06-09, Arch Intern Med., 168(11):1188-99.

Publication type: Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

BACKGROUND: Topiramate can improve drinking outcomes via a hypothesized mechanism of facilitating gamma-aminobutyric acid function and inhibiting glutaminergic pathways in the corticomesolimbic system. We sought to determine whether topiramate's antidrinking effects are bolstered by improvements in physical and psychosocial well-being. METHODS: In a 17-site, 14-week, double-blind, randomized controlled trial, we compared the effects of topiramate (up to 300 mg/d) vs placebo on physical health, obsessional thoughts and compulsions about using alcohol, and psychosocial well-being among 371 alcohol-dependent subjects who received weekly adherence enhancement therapy. RESULTS: Topiramate was more efficacious than placebo in reducing body mass index (calculated as weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared) (mean difference, 1.08; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.81-1.34; P < .001), all liver enzyme levels (P < .01 for all comparisons), plasma cholesterol level (mean difference, 13.30 mg/dL; 95% CI, 5.09-21.44 mg/dL; P = .002), and systolic (mean difference, 9.70 mm Hg; 95% CI, 6.81-12.60 mm Hg; P < .001) and diastolic (mean difference, 6.74 mm Hg; 95% CI, 4.57-8.90 mm Hg; P < .001) blood pressure to about prehypertension levels-effects that might lower the risk of fatty liver degeneration and cirrhosis as well as cardiovascular disease. Topiramate compared with placebo significantly (P < .05 for all comparisons) decreased obsessional thoughts and compulsions about using alcohol, increased subjects' psychosocial well-being, and improved some aspects of quality of life, thereby diminishing the risk of relapse and longer-term negative outcomes. Paresthesia, taste perversion, anorexia, and difficulty with concentration were reported more frequently for topiramate than for placebo. CONCLUSION: Topiramate appears to be generally effective at improving the drinking outcomes and physical and psychosocial well-being of alcoholic subjects.

Page last updated: 2008-06-22

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