Anti-Convulsive Drug May Also Help Curb Heavy Drinking | The Fix
facebook twitter RSS
HOT TOPICS: Alcoholism  Addiction  AA  Cocaine  Heroin

Anti-Convulsive Drug May Also Help Curb Heavy Drinking

Topiramate has risen to the status of cure-all among scientists who have published papers on its effectiveness in treating cocaine dependance and as a weight loss tool.



By Paul Gaita


| Share

Researchers have discovered that the drug topiramate, previously approved for treatment of seizure disorders and migraine prevention, may also prove beneficial in curbing issues of problem drinking among alcoholics.

The drug has assumed something of a cure-all status among members of the international scientific community, who have published studies which cite its effectiveness in not only aiding drinkers who seek to permanently curb their alcohol consumption, but also in the treatment of cocaine dependence and as a weight loss tool, though with significant side effects.

The most recent study was conducted by researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. They observed a group of 138 heavy drinkers – that is to say, individuals who consumed five or more drinks on one or more occasions over the course of a 30-day period – and gave half of the study group topiramate on a daily basis for 12 weeks, while the other half received a placebo. Both groups were also given counseling to reduce drinking.

Results showed that the patients who received the topiramate had not only fewer days of heavy drinking, but also reported more days of total abstinence than the placebo group. However, additional studies revealed that the drug proved most effective among European-Americans, whose genetic makeup included a receptor for glutamate, an amino acid neurotransmitter. The study ultimately suggested that by targeting neurotransmitters and enzyme systems, future research may yield a target for future medications dedicated to reducing heavy drinking.

“This study represents an important next step in understanding and treating problem drinking,” said Dr. Henry R. Kranzler, director of Penn’s Center for Studies of Addiction and lead author on the study. “Our study is the first we are aware of in which topiramate was evaluated as an option for patients who want to limit their drinking to safe levels, rather than stop drinking altogether.”

Rehabilitation Directories

Most Popular
The Rehab Review
Cliffside Malibu

The “beach-house-relaxed” Cliffside Malibu claims to provide an oasis for recovering addicts and alcoholics. And that’s just what you'll get—if you’ve got the cash.

Morningside Recovery

For a “rehab near the beach” experience that isn’t quite as costly as similar SoCal competitors, head to this Newport Beach treatment facility.

AToN Center

Whether you’re interested in the 12 Steps, SMART Recovery, or holistic treatments, this luxurious, appealing and commendable 4.5 star (our system doesn't yet show the 1/2 star) San Diego rehab has a program for you. 


This exclusive Northern California rehab is all about client choice—as well as golf outings, Buddhist field trips and keeping up with the office.

Capo By The Sea

Capo By The Sea offers an executive rehab program complete with medical detox and a focus on dual-diagnosis issues, as well as an outpatient option in an environment that exudes the kind of beach house optimism one would expect from an Orange County recovery outfit.

Journey Malibu

Want many of the luxury amenities A-listers have come to expect—including an enormous backyard with a pool and patio, an herb garden, a volleyball net and a spectacular vista of the Santa Monica mountains—with a recovery program to match?

The Ultimate Guide to Rehab

What you need to know when choosing an addiction treatment center.

the fix tv