Which medications are used for the treatment of alcoholism?

Updated: Nov 27, 2018
  • Author: Warren Thompson, MD, FACP; Chief Editor: Glen L Xiong, MD  more...
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Answer

Other agents that have been used with some success in the treatment of withdrawal include beta-blockers, clonidine, phenothiazines, and anticonvulsants. All can be used with benzodiazepines, but none has been proven to be adequate as monotherapy. A number of medications have been tried in the treatment of alcoholism. Disulfiram (Antabuse) has been used as an adjunct to counseling and AA with motivated patients to reduce the risk of relapse. Patients are reminded of the risks of adverse effects when tempted to drink. Disulfiram causes nausea, vomiting, and dysphoria with coincident alcohol use. In a large trial, disulfiram did not increase abstinence. If a patient asks for disulfiram and thinks it will help, it might be worth considering.


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