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Keywords:

  • alcoholism;
  • GABA;
  • glutamate;
  • therapeutics

Abstract

As with other addictions, human alcoholism is characterised as a chronically relapsing condition. Consequently, the therapeutic goal is the development of clinically effective, safe drugs that promote high adherence rates and prevent relapse. These products can then be used in conjunction with psychosocial approaches. In this review, preclinical studies are highlighted that indicate the mechanism of action of currently used anti-craving medications or demonstrate the potential of novel pharmacological agents for the treatment of alcohol use disorders. While current pharmacological strategies are far from ideal, there are a number of candidate molecules that may ultimately be developed into therapeutic agents. In addition, prescribing clinicians should also consider strategies such as combinations of various drugs to aid in the regulation of aberrant alcohol consumption.