Preliminary findings on the use of metadoxine for the treatment of alcohol dependence and alcoholic liver disease

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Abstract

Objective

Metadoxine is approved in Europe for alcohol intoxication and is also indicated for alcoholic liver disease (ALD). This study aims to investigate the use of metadoxine as a potential pharmacotherapy for alcohol dependence (AD).

Methods

This is a retrospective study of 94 outpatients with AD, who received metadoxine for alcohol intoxication and were assessed for alcohol consumption, craving [Visual Analog Scale (VAS)] and liver-related and alcohol-related biomarkers [aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), gamma-glutamyl-transpeptidase, mean corpuscular volume].

Results

Range of metadoxine dose was 500–2000 mg/day, with a mean dose of 1277(s.d.290) mg/day, and for a period of 2–42 days, with a mean period of 8.9(s.d.7.0) days. Follow-up data were available for 52 patients (55.3%); 35(67.3%) patients were completely abstinent. There was a significant decrease in drinks per week, even after substituting baseline drinking as follow-up data for dropouts (p < 0.001) and examining drinking pre-treatment and post-treatment for those who did not achieve abstinence (p < 0.001). There was a significant decrease in the VAS (p < 0.001) and a significant improvement in the AST/ALT ratio (p = 0.03).

Discussion

Despite important limitations, this study represents a further preliminary observation suggesting metadoxine as a novel alcohol pharmacotherapy, including in alcohol-dependent patients with ALD. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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