An ancient remedy for high blood pressure apparently works against alcohol addiction. This is the result of a brand-new study that has now been published in the “American Journal of Psychiatry”. American researchers gave 100 alcoholics the drug prazosin – actually a blood pressure-lowering drug from the class of so-called alpha-receptor blockers.

Prazosin blocks the action of stress neurotransmitters such as glutamate, adrenaline and noradrenaline and promotes calming neurotransmitters such as glycine and GABA.

The researchers gave the substance to 100 alcoholics shortly after or still during withdrawal, which did not take place in a clinic. The affected persons were all at home. Result: The addictive pressure disappeared or was no longer as intense, anxiety and panic were significantly reduced, as were sleeping problems.

Overall, the drug also reduced the amount of alcohol the study participants drank – which the researchers also consider a success. The aim of the study was not to achieve complete abstinence but only to investigate the effect of the drug on drinking behaviour and withdrawal symptoms.

Prazosin is no longer very important as a medicine. It is only suitable as an antihypertensive in the short term, because the body gets used to the substance relatively quickly.

The researchers’ observations prove once again that the key to the success of alcohol withdrawal is to be found in the brain chemistry. Prazosin slows down the stress neurotransmitters and promotes the calming ones. The concept of “alcohol adé” also follows this principle, however, this effect can also be achieved with natural substances such as nutrients.

Primary sources:

The American Journal of Psychiatry. Moderation of Prazosin’s Efficacy by Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

The Science Times. A New Study Shows Efficacy of High Blood Pressure in Alcoholics with Withdrawal Symptoms

Secondary source (german)

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