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Topiramate for treating alcohol dependence: a randomized controlled trial.

Author(s): Johnson BA, Rosenthal N, Capece JA, Wiegand F, Mao L, Beyers K, McKay A, Ait-Daoud N, 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, USA. bankolejohnson@virginia.edu

Publication date & source: 2007-10-10, JAMA., 298(14):1641-51.

Publication type: Multicenter Study; Randomized Controlled Trial; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

CONTEXT: Hypothetically, topiramate can improve drinking outcomes among alcohol-dependent individuals by reducing alcohol's reinforcing effects through facilitation of gamma-aminobutyric acid function and inhibition of glutaminergic pathways in the corticomesolimbic system. OBJECTIVE: To determine if topiramate is a safe and efficacious treatment for alcohol dependence. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: Double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, 14-week trial of 371 men and women aged 18 to 65 years diagnosed with alcohol dependence, conducted between January 27, 2004, and August 4, 2006, at 17 US sites. INTERVENTIONS: Up to 300 mg/d of topiramate (n = 183) or placebo (n = 188), along with a weekly compliance enhancement intervention. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Primary efficacy variable was self-reported percentage of heavy drinking days. Secondary outcomes included other self-reported drinking measures (percentage of days abstinent and drinks per drinking day) along with the laboratory measure of alcohol consumption (plasma gamma-glutamyltransferase). RESULTS: Treating all dropouts as relapse to baseline, topiramate was more efficacious than placebo at reducing the percentage of heavy drinking days from baseline to week 14 (mean difference, 8.44%; 95% confidence interval, 3.07%-13.80%; P = .002). Prespecified mixed-model analysis also showed that topiramate compared with placebo decreased the percentage of heavy drinking days (mean difference, 16.19%; 95% confidence interval, 10.79%-21.60%; P < .001) and all other drinking outcomes (P < .001 for all comparisons). Adverse events that were more common with topiramate vs placebo, respectively, included paresthesia (50.8% vs 10.6%), taste perversion (23.0% vs 4.8%), anorexia (19.7% vs 6.9%), and difficulty with concentration (14.8% vs 3.2%). CONCLUSION: Topiramate is a promising treatment for alcohol dependence. TRIAL REGISTRATION: clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT00210925.

Page last updated: 2007-10-18

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