A double-blind comparison of abecarnil and diazepam in the treatment of uncomplicated alcohol withdrawal

Raymond F. Anton, Henry R. Kranzler, Joseph Patrick McEvoy, Darlene H. Moak, Ralph Bianca

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Treatment of the alcohol withdrawal syndrome is best accomplished using pharmacologic agents that have minimal interaction with alcohol, have limited adverse effects, and are without abuse potential. The partial benzodiazepine receptor agonist beta-carboline compound, abecarnil, has been shown in animal and human studies to possess a number of these characteristics and to be useful in the reduction of alcohol withdrawal convulsions in mice. In this study, 49 alcohol-dependent inpatients who exhibited at least moderate symptoms of uncomplicated alcohol withdrawal were treated over a 5-day detoxification period with abecarnil or diazepam and rated daily for alcohol withdrawal symptoms and adverse events. Both the abecarnil and diazepam treatment groups exhibited a similar marked reduction in withdrawal symptoms over time. In addition, similar rates of successful treatment and improvement were observed after 1 day of treatment and at termination in alcoholics treated with either medication. Overall, rates of adverse events and changes in liver enzymes were similar in both treatment groups and were generally benign. Because of the unique pharmacologic profile of abecarnil in animal and in non-clinical human studies, including anticonvulsant action, low abuse liability, and a favorable side effect profile, further study of compounds of the partial benzodiazepine receptor agonist type in the treatment of alcohol withdrawal syndromes seems warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)123-129
Number of pages7
JournalPsychopharmacology
Volume131
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 3 1997
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Diazepam
Alcohols
Substance Withdrawal Syndrome
norharman
GABA-A Receptors
Therapeutics
Alcoholics
abecarnil
Anticonvulsants
Inpatients
Seizures
Liver
Enzymes

Keywords

  • Abecarnil
  • Alcohol withdrawal
  • Partial benzodiazepine agonists
  • Treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology

Cite this

A double-blind comparison of abecarnil and diazepam in the treatment of uncomplicated alcohol withdrawal. / Anton, Raymond F.; Kranzler, Henry R.; McEvoy, Joseph Patrick; Moak, Darlene H.; Bianca, Ralph.

In: Psychopharmacology, Vol. 131, No. 2, 03.07.1997, p. 123-129.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Anton, Raymond F. ; Kranzler, Henry R. ; McEvoy, Joseph Patrick ; Moak, Darlene H. ; Bianca, Ralph. / A double-blind comparison of abecarnil and diazepam in the treatment of uncomplicated alcohol withdrawal. In: Psychopharmacology. 1997 ; Vol. 131, No. 2. pp. 123-129.
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