Gamma-hydroxybutyric acid in the treatment of alcohol dependence: A double-blind study

L. Gallimberti, M. Ferri, S. D. Ferrara, F. Fadda, G. L. Gessa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The effect of gamma-hydroxybutyric acid on alcohol consumption and alcohol craving in alcoholics was investigated in a randomized double-blind study versus placebo. Patients were treated as outpatients during a three month period either with gamma-hydroxybutyric acid (50 mg/kg/day, divided into three daily doses) or with placebo. Of the 82 alcoholics that entered the study, 71 completed it, 36 in the gamma-hydroxybutyric acid and 35 in the placebo group. Alcohol consumption was assessed by the subject's self report. At the 3rd month of treatment, 11 patients in the gamma-hydroxybutyric acid group referred to be abstinent and 15 referred controlled drinking; while in the placebo group only two and six patients referred abstinence and controlled drinking, respectively. Serum-gammaglutamyl-transferase activity correlated with the admitted alcohol consumption. Gamma-hydroxybutyric acid treatment decreased alcohol craving during the 3 months of treatment. Transient side effects were noted by six patients on gamma-hydroxybutyric acid and two on placebo. The results suggest that gamma-hydroxybutyric acid may be useful in the treatment of alcohol dependence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)673-676
Number of pages4
JournalAlcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research
Volume16
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1992

Keywords

  • Alcohol Dependence
  • Craving
  • GHB

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Toxicology

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    Gallimberti, L., Ferri, M., Ferrara, S. D., Fadda, F., & Gessa, G. L. (1992). Gamma-hydroxybutyric acid in the treatment of alcohol dependence: A double-blind study. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 16(4), 673-676.