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Interdisciplinary Study of Two Novel Anticonvulsants in Alcoholism

Information source: Boston Medical Center
ClinicalTrials.gov processed this data on August 23, 2015
Link to the current ClinicalTrials.gov record.

Condition(s) targeted: Alcoholism; Alcohol Dependence; Alcohol Abuse

Intervention: Topiramate (Drug); Zonisamide (Drug); Levetiracetam (Drug); Sugar Pill (Drug)

Phase: Phase 2

Status: Terminated

Sponsored by: Boston Medical Center

Official(s) and/or principal investigator(s):
Domenic A Ciraulo, MD, Principal Investigator, Affiliation: Boston University


This is a double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel group design study with 4 treatment groups; levetiracetam, zonisamide, topiramate, and placebo control. Subjects will receive study medications for 14 weeks. Potential subjects will be initially screened for interest in study participation and alcohol consumption level to determine basic eligibility by telephone, or in person. Individuals who meet telephone screening criteria will be scheduled for a clinic appointment to obtain informed consent and conduct screening assessments. Subjects who report average drinks per day that are within the guidelines for safe levels of alcohol consumption (i. e. 2 drinks/ day males; 1 drink/day females-HHS standard) in the two weeks prior to screening will be excluded. Subjects meeting screening criteria will be scheduled for a second randomization visit. During this visit baseline assessments will be obtained. Eligible subjects will then be randomized to a treatment group and will be provided with the first week's study medications. The goal is to directly compare the efficacy and tolerability of two novel anticonvulsants, zonisamide and levetiracetam, with placebo, and using topiramate, which has extensive evidence supporting its efficacy in alcoholism, as a positive control group. We believe that this will be the first direct comparison of these agents in alcoholism, and the results will provide information on the efficacy and safety of the medications.

Clinical Details

Official title: A Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Parallel Group Design Trial of; Levetiracetam, Zonisamide, Topiramate, and Placebo Control for the Treatment of Alcohol Dependent Subjects.

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

Primary outcome: The Primary Efficacy Measure is the Mean Number of Drinks Consumed Per Day Over the Period From Treatment Weeks 10 Through 12 When All Study Medications Should be at Their Maximum Steady Levels Based on Their Known Pharmacokinetic Properties.

Secondary outcome:

AB-Neurotoxicity Scale.

Mean Percent Days Heavy Drinking

Percent Days Drinking

Controlled Word Association Test (COWAT)- Letter Fluency


Wechsler Memory Scales (WMS)-3d Ed Digit Span-Age Adjusted Total

Wechsler Memory Scale-3rd Ed. Spatial Span

Detailed description: This is a double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel group design study with 4 treatment groups; levetiracetam, zonisamide, topiramate, and placebo control. This study evaluated the effects of zonisamide (400 mg per day) on alcohol consumption and its neurotoxic effects in subjects with AUDS. A double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial was conducted using two comparator anticonvulsant drugs, topiramate (300 mg daily) and levetiracetam (2000 mg/day), which does not impair cognition. Topiramate was used as an active control in this study. Study medications were administered for 14 weeks, including a 2-week taper period. Target maintenance doses of study medications were administered to subjects during study weeks 8-12. Dosage reductions were made if needed to allow subjects to tolerate their study medication. During the medication taper phase of the study (Weeks 13-14) the Principal Investigator is allowed flexibility in the titration schedule in instances when the subject is experiencing events consistent with withdrawal, for example anxiety. Neurotoxicity of study drugs was assessed using neuropsychological tests and the AB-Neurotoxicity scale. An adaptive randomization procedures with sex and heavy drinking history being factors in the assignment of subjects to the treatment groups. will be done using sex and very heavy drinking. Very heavy drinking is defined as male subjects consuming more then 10 standard drinks per day and female subjects consuming more then 8 standard drinks per day for more then 40 percent of the days in the screening TLFB. Medication adherence was facilitated using Brief Behavioral Compliance Enhancement Treatment. It is a brief, standardized therapy that emphasizes medication adherence as being crucial to the improvement of drinking behavior. Subject assessments included, but were not limited to the following: 1) TLFB, 2) Adverse Events (AEs) assessment ,3) A-B Neurotoxicity Scale (weeks 1,4,8,12,15),and 4) Neuropsychological battery Assessments- including the Controlled Word Association Test (COWAT) and Digit and Spatial Span portions of the Wechsler Memory Scale- 3rd (weeks 1,12).


Minimum age: 21 Years. Maximum age: 65 Years. Gender(s): Both.


Inclusion Criteria: To be admitted into this study candidates must meet the following criteria: 1. DSM-IV-TR Diagnosis of Alcohol Dependence. 2. A minimal level of an average of 28 standard drinks per week for women or 35 drinks per week for men over a baseline 28 day consecutive period prior to the screening session during the 90 day time line follow-back. 3. Male or Female 21- 65 years of age. 4. Able to provide informed consent and comprehend study procedures. 5. Negative urine toxicological screen for opioids, cocaine, amphetamines, methamphetamine, and benzodiazepines. The test may be repeated for opioids or benzodiazepines shown to be medically prescribed for an acute disorder. The urine test may also be repeated if the Investigator deems necessary. 6. A score of >8 on the Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test (AUDIT) during screening. 7. Must be suitable for outpatient management of alcoholism. 8. Express desire to stop drinking or reduce alcohol consumption. 9. Provide contact information for themselves or an alternate contact that the staff will call in case of missed appointment. 10. Women must be postmenopausal for at least one year, be surgically sterile, or be using an effective method of birth control. 11. Must be able to take oral medications, adhere to the regimen and be willing to return for follow up visits. Exclusion Criteria: Subjects meeting the following criteria will be excluded from the study: 1. Dependent on DSM IV-TR drugs or substances other than ethanol, nicotine, or caffeine. 2. DSM IV-TR diagnosis of any current Axis I diagnosis other than alcohol dependence, nicotine dependence, or caffeine dependence that in the opinion of the study physicians might require intervention with either pharmacological or non-pharmacological therapy that will interfere with the course of the study. 3. Receiving inpatient treatment for alcohol dependence, other then alcohol detoxification, within 4 weeks prior to enrollment into this study. 4. Subjects with a score of 10 or greater on the Clinical Institute Withdrawal Assessment for Alcohol-Revised on first or second visits. 5. Being treated with acamprosate, disulfiram or naltrexone within two weeks prior to randomization: 6. Currently being treated with any of the following medications: a) antipsychotic agents. b) antimanic or anticonvulsant agents. c) sedative- hypnotics. d) chronic opioid treatment. e) psychomotor stimulants- amphetamine derivatives, methylphenidate 7. Subjects who are legally mandated to participate in an alcohol treatment program. 8. Use of any medication known to inhibit or induce cytochrome P450 3A4 enzymes. 9. Subjects who have attempted suicide or who have had suicidal ideation within 30 days of their first visit. 10. Subjects with renal disease or history of kidney stones. 11. Subjects with AST or ALT >3 times the upper limit of the normal range during screening. 12. History of significant neurological disorder. 13. Subjects who are pregnant (as assessed by serum HCG) or lactating. 14. Subjects known to have clinically significant medical conditions that in the opinion of the study physician would preclude administration of the study medications or limit participation in the clinical trial. 15. Subjects with history of treatment with levetiracetam, topiramate or zonisamide. 16. Score of 25 or less on the Folstein Mini- Mental examination. 17. History of anticonvulsant-induced rash. 18. Taking drugs that contain "sulfa" moiety, such as sulfonamides, sulfonylureas, carbonic anhydrase inhibitors, thiazides, and loop diuretics (except ethacrynic acid). 19. During the 2 weeks prior to screening subjects who report average drinks per day that are within the guidelines for safe levels of alcohol consumption (i. e. 2 drinks/ day males; 1 drink/day females-HHS standard) will be excluded. 20. Subjects with a sulfa allergy.


Locations and Contacts

Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts 02118, United States
Additional Information

Starting date: May 2009
Last updated: April 6, 2015

Page last updated: August 23, 2015

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