Baclofen: a new drug for the treatment of alcohol dependence

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Abstract

Summary

Recent preclinical and clinical studies have suggested that baclofen, the prototypic γ-aminobutyric acid B (GABAB) receptor agonist, is a promising pharmacological compound for use in the treatment of alcohol dependence. In particular, baclofen has been found to suppress symptoms of alcohol withdrawal syndrome with an efficacy comparable with that of the ‘gold standard’ diazepam. Moreover, baclofen has proven effective in the prevention of relapse due to its ability to reduce alcohol intake and craving in alcoholic patients. Baclofen proved to be manageable, producing no significant side effects and displaying no addictive properties. The efficacy of the drug in the management of both alcohol withdrawal syndrome and relapse prevention should entail a vastly simplified pharmacotherapy of alcohol dependence.

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