Supported by NIH Grants AA13736, AA03510, and RR06192.
Effects of Ondansetron in Early- Versus Late-Onset Alcoholics: A Prospective, Open-Label Study
Article first published online: 3 MAY 2006
Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research
Volume 27, Issue 7, pages 1150–1155, July 2003
How to Cite
Kranzler, H. R., Pierucci-Lagha, A., Feinn, R. and Hernandez-Avila, C. (2003), Effects of Ondansetron in Early- Versus Late-Onset Alcoholics: A Prospective, Open-Label Study. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 27: 1150–1155. doi: 10.1097/01.ALC.0000075547.77464.76
- Issue published online: 3 MAY 2006
- Article first published online: 3 MAY 2006
- Received for publication February 5, 2003; accepted April 14, 2003.
- 5-HT3 Antagonist;
- Alcoholism Subtype;
- Serotonin Function;
- Alcoholism Treatment
Background: Early-onset alcoholics (EOAs) have a greater familial loading for alcoholism, more severe progression of the disorder, a greater severity of comorbid psychopathology, and a poorer response to treatment than late-onset alcoholics (LOAs). Ondansetron, a 5-hydroxytryptamine-3 antagonist, was found to be superior to placebo in the treatment of EOAs, but not of LOAs. This study compared the tolerability and potential efficacy of an oral solution of ondansetron in EOAs versus LOAs.
Methods: Forty outpatients with alcohol dependence (67.5% male; 87.5% European American; 20 EOAs; 20 LOAs) received an oral solution of ondansetron at a dosage of 4 μg/kg twice daily for 8 weeks, together with weekly relapse-prevention therapy.
Results: EOAs had a significantly greater decrease in drinks per day, drinks per drinking day, and alcohol-related problems than LOAs. Changes in the level of carbohydrate-deficient transferrin were consistent with changes in self-reported drinking behavior.
Conclusions: An oral solution of ondansetron seems suitable for the treatment of alcohol dependence, yielding findings consistent with evidence from a placebo-controlled trial that ondansetron, at a dosage of 4 μg/kg twice daily, is of value in the treatment of EOAs.