The therapeutic potential of gamma-hydroxybutyric acid for alcohol dependence: Balancing the risks and benefits. A focus on clinical data

Giovanni Addolorato, Lorenzo Leggio, Anna Ferrulli, Fabio Caputo, Antonio Gasbarrini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

There is an increasing interest in studying the role of GABAergic medications in the treatment of alcohol dependence. The GABAergic drug gamma-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB) has been investigated in Europe as a possible treatment for alcohol dependence. In some European Countries, GHB has been approved as a treatment for alcohol dependence. However, this drug has also shown addictive properties, therefore raising questions about its safety in treating alcohol-dependent subjects. More recent research is focusing on the possibility of identifying alcohol-dependent subtypes without risk of developing GHB abuse. Finally, GHB and naltrexone combined together represent a possible approach deserving future investigations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)675-686
Number of pages12
JournalExpert Opinion on Investigational Drugs
Volume18
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2009

Keywords

  • Alcohol craving
  • Alcohol dependence
  • Alcohol withdrawal syndrome
  • GHB
  • GHB abuse and dependence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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