Epilepsy Drug Shows Promise For Alcoholics

Epilepsy Drug Shows Promise For Alcoholics

By Valerie Tejeda 03/22/12

In a pre-trial study, French researchers testing Baclofen achieved an 80% success rate treating heavy drinkers.

Image: 
A 20 mg Baclofen tablet could help heavy drinkers.

Researchers are testing to see if a drug used to treat seizures can treat alcoholism, according to French doctors. Baclofen, originally manufactured as an epilepsy drug, showed promising results in preliminary testing with a small group of alcoholics. The pretrial study, published in the journal Alcohol and Alcoholism, followed 132 heavy drinkers who were administered high doses of baclofen for over a year. The results showed 80-percent of the group either stopped drinking completely or switched to drinking in moderation. By comparison, other drugs used to treat alcoholism, such as naltrexone and acamprosate, have had  25-percent success rate over the same period. University of Paris-Descartes’ lead researcher Philippe Jaury says the outcome of the pretrial has paved the way for a one-year clinical trail expected to start in May of 2012.