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Gabapentin treatment for alcohol dependence: a randomized clinical trial

Study Purpose: To determine whether gabapentin, a widely prescribed generic calcium channel/γ-aminobutyric acid-modulating medication, increases rates of sustained abstinence and abstinence from heavy drinking and reduces alcohol-related insomnia, dysphoria, and craving in a dose-dependent manner.

Design, Participants, and Setting: A 12-week, double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized dose-ranging study of 150 men and women aged 18 years and older with current alcohol dependence conducted from 2004 to 2010 in a single-site outpatient clinical research facility adjacent to a general medical hospital.

Interventions: Oral gabapentin (doses of 0 [placebo], 900 mg, or 1800 mg/d) and concomitant manual counseling.

Conclusions and Relevance: Gabapentin (particularly the 1800-mg dose) was effective in treating alcohol dependence and relapse-related symptoms of insomnia, dysphoria, and cravings and had a favorable safety profile. Increased implementation of pharmacologic treatment for alcohol dependence in primary care could be a significant benefit of gabapentin as a treatment option for alcohol dependence.

JAMA Intern Med.: Gabapentin treatment for alcohol dependence: a randomized clinical trial

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