Commentary: Doxasozin for Alcoholism


  • Lorenzo Leggio,

    Corresponding author
    1. Intramural Research Program , National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health, Baltimore, Maryland
    • Section on Clinical Psychoneuroendocrinology and Neuropsychopharmacology, Laboratory of Clinical and Translational Studies, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland
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  • George A. Kenna

    1. Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies , Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island
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This article is corrected by:

  1. Errata: Erratum Volume 40, Issue 6, 1362, Article first published online: 13 May 2015

Reprint requests: Lorenzo Leggio, MD, PhD, MSc, Section on Clinical Psychoneuroendocrinology and Neuropsychopharmacology, NIAAA & NIDA, NIH, 10 Center Drive (10CRC/15330) MSC 1108, Room 1-5429, Bethesda, MD 20892-1108; Tel.: 301-435-9398; Fax: 301-402-0445; E-mail:


Recent preclinical and clinical evidence using prazosin indicates that α1-blockade may represent a new approach to treat alcohol dependence (AD). While most of the alcohol research on α1-blockade has been conducted testing prazosin, O'Neil and colleagues recently performed a set of preclinical experiments testing another α1-blocker, doxazosin, which has a longer half-life that may enhance clinical utility. Doxazosin and prazosin share the same chemical structure, in which the central element is a piperazine ring. O'Neil and colleagues' main results are that doxazosin significantly reduced alcohol intake without affecting locomotor activity. As such, O'Neil and colleagues provide the first preclinical evidence of the possible role of doxazosin in AD. Additional translational research is needed to further test this hypothesis.