Supported by NIAAA Grant R01 AA10522.
Combining Ondansetron and Naltrexone Treats Biological Alcoholics: Corroboration of Self-Reported Drinking by Serum Carbohydrate Deficient Transferrin, A Biomarker
Article first published online: 11 APR 2006
Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research
Volume 25, Issue 6, pages 847–849, June 2001
How to Cite
Ait-Daoud, N., Johnson, B. A., Javors, M., Roache, J. D. and Zanca, N. A. (2001), Combining Ondansetron and Naltrexone Treats Biological Alcoholics: Corroboration of Self-Reported Drinking by Serum Carbohydrate Deficient Transferrin, A Biomarker. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 25: 847–849. doi: 10.1111/j.1530-0277.2001.tb02289.x
- Issue published online: 11 APR 2006
- Article first published online: 11 APR 2006
- Received for publication January 16, 2001; accepted March 7, 2001.
Background: Recently, we showed by using self-report that combining ondansetron (4 μg/kg twice a day) and naltrexone (25 mg twice a day) was effective at reducing drinking and increasing abstinence among early-onset alcoholics (EOAs), who are characterized by a range of antisocial behaviors and high biological and familial disease predisposition. Here, we investigated whether the self-reported differences in drinking would be corroborated by measurements of serum carbohydrate-deficient transferrin (CDT) level, a sensitive, reliable, and well-validated marker of transient alcohol consumption.
Method: An 8-week double-blind clinical trial was performed in which 20 EOAs were randomized to receive ondansetron (4 μg/kg twice a day) and naltrexone (25 mg twice a day) or placebo as an adjunct to weekly standardized cognitive behavioral therapy. Serum CDT was assessed at weeks 0 (baseline), 4, and 8.
Results: Log serum CDT was significantly lower in the ondansetron and naltrexone group (group mean, 1.44 ± 0.076) compared with the placebo group (group mean, 1.82 ± 0.113), as evidenced by a main effect of group [F (1,15) = 7.2, p= 0.017; effect size = 0.32], visit [F (1,16) = 11.2, p= 0.004; effect size = 0.41], and an interaction between group and visit [F (1,16) = 27.54, p < 0.001; effect size = 0.63].
Conclusions: The combination of ondansetron plus naltrexone was superior to placebo at reducing serum CDT. This corroborated our self-reported drinking data and demonstrated that the medication combination is an effective treatment for EOAs.