Therapeutics for alcoholism: what's the future?
Version of Record online: 29 MAY 2009
2007 Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and other Drugs
Drug and Alcohol Review
Volume 26, Issue 1, pages 3–8, January 2007
How to Cite
LAWRENCE, A. J. (2007), Therapeutics for alcoholism: what's the future?. Drug and Alcohol Review, 26: 3–8. doi: 10.1080/09595230601036937
- Issue online: 29 MAY 2009
- Version of Record online: 29 MAY 2009
- Received 17 May 2006; accepted for publication 12 July 2006.
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.