Gamma-hydroxybutyrate reduces both withdrawal syndrome and hypercortisolism in severe abstinent alcoholics: an open study vs. diazepam.
Author(s): Nava F, Premi S, Manzato E, Campagnola W, Lucchini A, Gessa GL
Affiliation(s): Italian Society of Addiction Medicine FederSerD, Milan, Italy. firstname.lastname@example.org
Publication date & source: 2007, Am J Drug Alcohol Abuse., 33(3):379-92.
Publication type: Comparative Study; Randomized Controlled Trial; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
In 42 alcoholic inpatients we performed an open randomized study to compare the effects of diazepam and gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) on the suppression of severe alcohol withdrawal syndrome and hypercortisolism. Both diazepam (.5 mg/kg bodyweight, q.i.d.) and GHB (50 mg/kg bodyweight, q.i.d.) were orally administered for three weeks. During all study period, GHB was more able than diazepam in reducing both withdrawal syndrome and hypercortisolism. These effects were evident during the first week of treatment and persisted throughout the study period. The results confirm a strict correlation between high levels of plasma cortisol and alcohol withdrawal symptoms and they show a slight superiority of GHB over diazepam in the suppression of both ethanol withdrawal and hypercortisolism. Taken together, our data suggest that GHB may act as potent anti-withdrawal agent in severe abstinent alcoholics.