DrugLib.com — Drug Information Portal

Rx drug information, pharmaceutical research, clinical trials, news, and more

Acamprosate Added to Escitalopram and Behavioral Treatment for Comorbid Depression and Alcoholism

Information source: Massachusetts General Hospital
ClinicalTrials.gov processed this data on August 23, 2015
Link to the current ClinicalTrials.gov record.

Condition(s) targeted: Major Depressive Disorder; Alcohol Abuse; Alcohol Dependence

Intervention: acamprosate (Drug); escitalopram (Drug); Medical management (Behavioral); Placebo (Drug)

Phase: Phase 4

Status: Completed

Sponsored by: Massachusetts General Hospital

Official(s) and/or principal investigator(s):
Janet M Witte, MD, Principal Investigator, Affiliation: Massachusetts General Hospital
Nicholas Bolo, PhD, Principal Investigator, Affiliation: Mclean Hospital


This is a study about treatment for people who suffer from both major depression and alcohol abuse or dependence. The study will examine whether the addition of acamprosate to escitalopram and behavioral interventions will improve outcomes for this population.

Clinical Details

Official title: A Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study of Acamprosate Added to Escitalopram and Behavioral Treatment in Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) With Comorbid Alcohol Abuse/Dependence

Study design: Allocation: Randomized, Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Double Blind (Subject, Caregiver, Investigator, Outcomes Assessor), Primary Purpose: Treatment

Primary outcome:

Change in Mean Score on the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression -- 17 Items (HAM-D-17)

Total Drinking Days on the Alcohol Timeline Followback (TLFB)

Total Drinks Consumed Per Week on the TLFB

Total Drinks Consumed Per Drinking Day on the TLFB

Detailed description: Depression and alcohol use disorders contribute to a significant proportion of the burden of disease, in the United States and abroad. Patients who suffer from co-morbid depression and alcohol abuse/dependence have illnesses that are more severe, persistent and costly than people with either depression or an alcohol use disorder alone. The treatment of these patients remains controversial. Several studies have demonstrated that antidepressants can be safe and efficacious in the treatment of depression in people who continue to drink, and it is now considered the standard of care to provide such treatment. Other studies have shown that pharmacotherapy with naltrexone or acamprosate can help reduce drinking in alcoholics without co-morbid depression. A logical extension of these findings would be to study the treatment of depressed alcoholics with dual pharmacotherapy, combining an anti-depressant with a medication aimed at treating the alcohol use disorder. We will conduct a randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled trial of escitalopram plus acamprosate and behavioral treatment vs. escitalopram plus placebo and behavioral treatment in 20 depressed alcoholics. Outcome measures will include depression, alcohol use and global functioning.


Minimum age: 18 Years. Maximum age: 64 Years. Gender(s): Both.


Inclusion Criteria: 1. DSM-IV diagnostic criteria for MDD (diagnosis based on Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV, Patient Edition; SCID I/P) 2. Written informed consent 3. Men and women aged 18-64 years 4. Current diagnosis of alcohol abuse/dependence as per SCID I/P Exclusion Criteria: 1. Subjects with suicidal ideation where outpatient treatment is determined unsafe by the study clinician. These patients will be immediately referred to appropriate clinical treatment. 2. Pregnant women or women of childbearing potential who are not using a medically accepted means of contraception (defined as oral contraceptive pill or implant, condom, diaphragm, spermicide, IUD, s/p tubal ligation, partner with vasectomy). 3. Known history of serious or unstable medical illness, including cardiovascular, hepatic, renal, respiratory, endocrine, neurologic or hematologic disease. 4. History of seizure disorder, brain injury, any history of known neurological disease (multiple sclerosis, degenerative disease such as ALS, Parkinson disease and any movement disorders, etc.). 5. Clinical or lab evidence of untreated hypothyroidism. 6. History or current diagnosis of the following DSM-IV psychiatric illness: organic mental disorder, schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, delusional disorder, psychotic disorders not otherwise specified, bipolar disorder, patients with mood congruent or mood incongruent psychotic features, patients with substance use disorders (excluding alcohol and nicotine) active within the last 12 months. 7. Current use of other psychotropic drugs, including current use of benzodiazepines, hypnotics, anticonvulsants. Concomitant use of antihistamine drugs will be allowed. Patients will need to be off all antidepressants for at least two weeks by the time of the baseline visit, and four weeks for fluoxetine, and off benzodiazepines and other psychotropics for at least one week. The decision about whether to taper existing medications should be made by the individual and their primary treater based on clinical care and will not be made for purposes of study enrollment. allowed. 8. Patients who have failed to respond during the course of their current major depressive episode to at least two adequate antidepressant trials. An adequate antidepressant trial is defined as six weeks or more of treatment with escitalopram > 20mg/day or its antidepressant equivalent: (fluoxetine 40mg/day, sertraline > 100 mg/day, paroxetine > 40 mg/day, fluvoxamine > 100 mg/day, citalopram > 40 mg/day, escitalopram > 20 mg/day, venlafaxine > 150 mg/day, and duloxetine > 60 mg/day). 9. Any depression-focused or substance-abuse focused psychotherapy (family or marital counseling would be allowed). 10. Patients who have taken an investigational psychotropic drug within the past year. 11. Need for medical or inpatient detoxification from alcohol. This determination will be made by the screening clinician, based on clinical judgement as in the multicenter STAR*D study (PHRC #2000-P-001955 in accordance with methods used in the multi-center STAR-D study.

Locations and Contacts

Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts 02114, United States
Additional Information

Starting date: March 2007
Last updated: June 4, 2012

Page last updated: August 23, 2015

-- advertisement -- The American Red Cross
Home | About Us | Contact Us | Site usage policy | Privacy policy

All Rights reserved - Copyright DrugLib.com, 2006-2017