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The anticonvulsant zonisamide reduces ethanol self-administration by risky drinkers.

Author(s): Sarid-Segal O, Knapp CM, Burch W, Richardson MA, Bahtia S, DeQuattro K, Afshar M, Richambault C, Sickels L, Devine E, Ciraulo DA

Affiliation(s): Boston University School of Medicine, Massachusetts, USA.

Publication date & source: 2009, Am J Drug Alcohol Abuse., 35(5):316-9.

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

OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study is to examine the effects of zonisamide on ethanol self-administration and subjective effects in risky drinkers using a human laboratory paradigm. METHOD: We conducted a double-blind, placebo-controlled study of the effects of zonisamide 100 mg on ethanol self-administration and urge to drink in risky drinkers (N = 10) ( [1] ). RESULT: During the second hour of a 2-hour self-administration session ethanol consumption was 50% lower in the zonisamide group as compared to the placebo group. Urge to drink was also significantly lower under the zonisamide condition. CONCLUSION: These results indicate that a single dose of zonisamide reduces urge to drink and the quantity of ethanol self-administered by risky drinkers during their second hour of access to alcohol. SCIENTIFIC SIGNIFICANCE: Zonisamide may help individuals drinking at risky levels reduce their intake of alcohol.

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