Gamma-hydroxybutyric Acid for Alcoholism

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Gamma-hydroxybutyric Acid for Alcoholism

Reference: Addolorato G, Cibin M, Caprista E, et al. Maintaining abstinence from alcohol with gamma-hydroxybutyric acid. Lancet 1998; 351:38.

Summary: A group of 119 alcoholics in the process of trying to quit drinking volunteered to take 50 mg/kg of gamma-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB) three times daily. This phase of the study lasted eight weeks. Sixty-six of these patients were able to remain abstinent as shown by significant decreases in their serum gamma-glutamyltranspeptidase (GGT) levels and scores on the Alcohol Craving Scale compared to baseline. Another 28 dropped out of the study for unspecified reasons. The 66 who initially responded to GHB continued on the same dose while the 25 who had continued to drink began taking 50 mg/kg GHB six times daily for eight more weeks. At the end of the study 76% (19 of 25) of the nonresponders now showed they were abstinent via significant drops in GGT levels and Alcohol Craving Scale scores compared to baseline. The original 66 responders maintained their abstinence in the second half of the study as well. No adverse effects were mentioned from GHB administration.

Natural Product Research Consultants, Inc.

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By E. Yarnell

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