Skip to main content

Long-term effects of pharmacotherapy on relapse prevention in alcohol dependence

Buy Article:

$43.00 plus tax (Refund Policy)

Kiefer F, Andersohn F, Otte C, Wolf K, Jahn H, Wiedemann K. Long-term effects of pharmacotherapy on relapse prevention in alcohol dependence. Background: 

There is growing evidence that pharmacological treatment with two of the best validated anticraving drugs, acamprosate and naltrexone, is efficacious in promoting abstinence in recently detoxified alcohol-dependent subjects. Objective: 

The stability of effects after termination of treatment remains to be answered, especially when combining both the drugs. Method: 

After detoxification, 160 alcohol-dependent subjects participated in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Patients received naltrexone or acamprosate or a combination of naltrexone and acamprosate or placebo for 12 weeks. Patients were assessed weekly by interview, self-report, questionnaires and laboratory screening. Additionally, follow-up evaluation based on telephone interview of participants, general practitioners and relatives was conducted 12 weeks after terminating the medication. Results: 

At week 12, the proportion of subjects relapsing to heavy drinking was significantly lower in the group with combined medication compared with both placebo and acamprosate (P < 0.05). No difference was detectable between acamprosate and naltrexone, both of which were superior to placebo (P < 0.05). Relapse rates were 28% (combined medication), 35% (naltrexone), 50% (acamprosate) and 75% (placebo). After follow-up (week 24), combined medication led to relapse rates significantly lower than placebo, but not lower than acamprosate. Again, both naltrexone and acamprosate were superior to placebo. Relapse rates were 80% (placebo), 54% (acamprosate), 53% (naltrexone) and 34% (combined medication). Conclusions: 

The results of this study highlight the stability of effects of pharmacotherapy on relapse prevention in alcohol dependence.
No References
No Citations
No Supplementary Data
No Article Media
No Metrics

Keywords: Abstinence; Acamprosate; Alcoholism; Craving; Naltrexone; Treatment; Trial

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University Hospital of Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany

Publication date: 2004-10-01

  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more