BACLOFEN FOR REDUCTION OF CRAVING AND ANXIETY DEPRESSION IN ALCOHOL DEPENDENCE SYNDROME: A PRELIMINARY INVESTIGATION
Introduction Alcohol dependence affects nearly 10% of the population, both in the USA and in Europe, and poses serious threat to public health by increasing morbidity & mortality. Treatment for alcohol dependence consists of psychological, social and pharmaceutical interventions. The ability of baclofen to reduce alcohol craving and promote alcohol abstinence in alcohol-dependent individuals has been observed in some open-label studies.
Materials and method Thirteen patients (12 male & 1 female) who were self referred were taken from de-addiction clinic of I.M.S, B.H.U. All patients were assessed for eligibility and were consequently admitted. Thirteen patients (12 male & 1 female) were taken from de-addiction clinic of I.M.S, B.H.U. All patients were admitted. The following tools were administered: Hamilton’s anxiety; Hamilton’s depression scale; Penn craving scale; Emergent Side effects Semi-structured interview; Abstinence Semi-structured interview. All patients were assessed on baseline using semi-structured proforma and relevant history. It was 12 week long follow up study. Patients were assessed on baseline and at 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 and 12 weeks.
Results Out of 13 patients enrolled, 2 patients dropped at 1st follow up, only 11 patients completed the (10 male ,1 female) study. Out of 11 patients, 9 patients (8 males and 1 female) reported complete abstinence and 2 male patients had significant reduction in craving, but continued minimal intake of alcohol. Also there was a declining trend in cumulative abstinence as measured by number of standard drinks/day. Treatment adherence was 85%.
Discussion Total abstinence was present in 8 patients. In the present study the beneficial effect of baclofen in maintaining abstinence has been attributed to its capacity to reduce anxiety, this study also hypothesized that baclofen may also have an antidepressant effect on alcohol-abstinent participants. Also the GABA action of baclofen is beneficial.
Conclusion Drug was found to be cost effective as well safe for use on an out-patient basis.
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