Navigation Links
New Strategy to Counter Problem Drinking

Problem drinkers who took a craving-curbing drug whenever they felt the desire to imbibe reported fewer heavy drinking days each month than drinkers who took a look-alike placebo pill, but both groups reported marked reductions in heavy drinking days.

Those findings come from a study of 403 heavy drinkers in Finland, who took either a placebo or the drug nalmefene on an as needed basis.

It has a robust and sustained effect in reducing harmful heavy drinking in a large study population, said researcher Sakari Karhuvaara. Alcohol problems have huge negative impacts on the well-being of individuals and families and cause enormous costs to society due to lost working days, accidents, treatment of alcohol-related disease, etcetera.

Before the study, patients assigned to nalmefene treatment reported 15.5 average heavy drinking days each month. They were directed to take the drug whenever they felt a looming urge to drink. During the first three months of treatment, the average number of heavy drinking days was 8.6 to 9.3 for the people in the nalmefene group.

The drinkers assigned to the placebo group had somewhat less dramatic reductions. They averaged 16.2 heavy drinking days a month before the study and 10.6 to 12.0 during the trial.

Researchers double-checked participant-reported alcohol consumption changes with tests that measured alcohol-use biomarkers in the blood.

In the United States, abstinence has been the traditional goal of the treatment of alcohol dependence, but in the last 20 years, there has been a movement to consider harm reduction or drinking reduction as a goal equal to abstinence.

Alcohol dependence is nowadays recognized as a chronic, recurring disorder where relapses almost inevitably occur during and after the treatment, Karhuvaara said. So focusing on harm reduction in the short term is often much more feasible than complete abst inence, he added.

Karhuvaara is a physician and health researcher who was once an employee of Biotie Therapies Corp., the manufacturer of nalmefene. The drug maker supported the new study.

There are fair amounts of good data (showing) that the more drinks you have a day, the more likely you are to have health or social consequences, said alcohol researcher Raymond Anton.

The thinking is that if you can reduce heavy drinking days or the number of drinks per drinking day, you might actually alleviate some suffering, even though you dont cause the person to be abstinent.

Not everyone who seeks alcohol treatment is ready to consider a lifetime without alcohol, so an abstinence goal can be a barrier for some people considering help.

Many health professionals are convinced that a harm reduction approach can draw more people into treatment, said Anton, director of the Center for Drug and Alcohol Programs at the Medical University of South Carolina. Anton did not participate in the Finnish study, but he has conducted nalmefene research in the United States.

The Finnish researchers note some side effects among people in the nalmefene group, including nausea, abdominal discomfort, as well as energy and sleep difficulties. However, most study participants remained in the trial and continued using the drug.

I wish theyd done an analysis to see if the people who suffered those side effects were the same people who drank less. Perhaps some of the reduction in drinking may have been because they didnt feel so good, rather than because the drug just took away an urge to drink, Anton said.

Patients must take most medications for alcohol treatment daily. Nalmefene taken as needed fits into the harm reduction treatment approach.

The drug is an opioid antagonist that works to block the effects of endorphins. The U.S. Food and Drug Administrat ion has not approved nalmefene for use in alcohol treatment; the drug is primarily available in investigational studies.

Karhuvaara said his study also suggests that practically any doctor could successfully administer nalmefene in a wide variety of medical settings.

It is an attempt to get the drug out of the sole use of addiction specialists and into the hands of primary providers, Anton said.


Related medicine news :

1. Novel Strategy To Combat Alzheimer’s Disease
2. "Defensive Pessimism" Before Exam Results Not a Good Strategy
3. WHO Devises New Global Strategy To Fight Tuberculosis
4. HER-2 Positive Breast Cancer Patients May Benefit With a Combo Drug Strategy
5. West Nile Virus Can Be Tackled By New Strategy
6. Australia Set To Implement A national Strategy Tackle Cannabis Abuse
7. Clement Urged to Plot a National Pharmaceutical Strategy
8. New Preventive Strategy to Fight Childhood Obesity
9. Rae unveils Health-care Strategy
10. A Promising New Vaccination Strategy for Late-Stage Melanoma
11. Effective Strategy Against Bird flu-Spainish Flu Vaccine Raises Hopes
Post Your Comments:

(Date:11/28/2015)... CA (PRWEB) , ... November 28, 2015 , ... Pixel ... fully customizable media panels to choose from, the possibilities are endless. Users have full ... more. With the ProPanel: Pulse masking effects, users are sure to get heads to ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) , ... November 27, 2015 , ... ... new study carried out by the University of Toronto and the University of British ... number of hospitalizations for head injuries. The article explains that part of the reason ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... 2015 , ... A team of Swiss doctors has released a report on ... just posted the findings on the website. Click here to read the details ... mesothelioma patients who were treated with chemotherapy followed by EPP surgery. Among the 106 ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... Lizzie’s Lice Pickers just announced a special promotion ... off of their purchase of lice treatment product. In addition, customers will receive a ... company spokesperson. “Finding lice is a sure way to ruin the holidays, so we ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... LOS ANGELES, CA (PRWEB) , ... November 27, 2015 , ... MPWH, the No.1 Herpes-only ... age of 30 (see Table 1-1 ). More than 3.7 billion people under ... simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1), according to WHO's first global estimates of HSV-1 infection ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... 2015 ... the  "2016 Future Horizons and Growth ... Testing Market: Supplier Shares, Competitive Intelligence, ... --> ) has ... Future Horizons and Growth Strategies in ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... Research and Markets ( ) has announced the ... Type (Dressings, Therapy Devices, Active Wound Care), Application (Surgical ... Geography - Global Forecast to 2020" report to ... --> The purpose of this report is to ... advanced wound care market. It involves deep dive analysis ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... DUBLIN , November 26, 2015 ... of the "Self Administration of High Viscosity ... ) has announced the addition of ... report to their offering. --> ... the addition of the "Self Administration of ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: