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Could New Drunk "Antidote" Help Drinkers Drive?

Yale University researchers are testing iomazil, a pill that could help drinkers stay sober.

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"Don't worry Officer, I'm on the pill." Photo via

By Valerie Tejeda

05/15/12

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A pill that stops you from getting drunk off alcohol? It sounds counter-intuitive, but researchers at Yale University believe the experimental drug iomazenil may help drinkers stay sober. Results from a pilot study showed that when taken before drinking, iomazenil may help counteract the effects of booze on the brain. "A medication that has the potential to block alcohol actions in the central nervous system could act as a unique medication in the treatment of alcohol intoxication and alcoholism," says psychiatrist and researcher Deepak D'Souza. "Alcohol is abused commonly but there is no remedy for alcohol intoxication." Research is still being conducted and the the study will next focus on how, and if, iomazenil will impact those who drink and drive. Dozens of study volunteers—aged 21 to 35—will be given the drug prior to ingesting alcohol and try driving on a simulator. Researchers hope the drug will indeed slow the effects of alcohol in drinkers, and if so, the pill could be a way to aid alcoholics and binge drinkers to retain clarity.

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