This work was supported by an unrestricted grant of Merck Santé, France.
Effects of Acamprosate on Sleep During Alcohol Withdrawal: A Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Polysomnographic Study in Alcohol-Dependent Subjects
Article first published online: 14 AUG 2006
Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research
Volume 30, Issue 9, pages 1492–1499, September 2006
How to Cite
Luc, S., Peter, B., Thierry, D., Isabelle, G., Muriel, M., Frédéric, L. and Rémy, L. (2006), Effects of Acamprosate on Sleep During Alcohol Withdrawal: A Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Polysomnographic Study in Alcohol-Dependent Subjects. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 30: 1492–1499. doi: 10.1111/j.1530-0277.2006.00180.x
- Issue published online: 14 AUG 2006
- Article first published online: 14 AUG 2006
- Received for publication October 19, 2005; accepted April 24, 2006.
- Alcohol Withdrawal
Background: Sleep disturbances are frequently encountered in alcohol-dependent patients. Drugs improving sleep during abstinence from alcohol may play an important role in the recovery process.
Methods: In the present study, the effects of acamprosate, a drug successfully used in maintaining abstinence following alcohol withdrawal, were assessed by polysomnographic recordings. A parallel double-blind placebo-controlled study was conducted in 24 male DSM-IV alcohol-dependent subjects aged 35.9±1.2 years. Treatments (2 tablets of 333 mg acamprosate vs placebo t.i.d.) were initiated 8 days before alcohol withdrawal and continued during the 15 days following alcohol withdrawal. Polysomnographic assessments were recorded during acute withdrawal (the first 2 nights following withdrawal) and during postwithdrawal abstinence (the last 2 nights of the trial).
Results: Results show that, compared with placebo, acamprosate decreased wake time after sleep onset and increased stage 3 and REM sleep latency (all treatment effects with a p<0.05 significance). Withdrawal effects themselves were also demonstrated as sleep efficiency (p<0.01) and total sleep time (p<0.05) were lower in abstinence nights versus withdrawal nights, whereas no significant treatment × withdrawal effect could be evidenced. Acamprosate was well tolerated during the entire course of the study.
Conclusions: The present study shows that acamprosate ameliorates both sleep continuity and sleep architecture parameters classically described as disturbed in alcohol-dependent patients. From a clinical perspective, it suggests that an 8-day acamprosate prewithdrawal treatment is well tolerated and can attenuate the sleep disturbances engendered by alcohol withdrawal in alcohol-dependent subjects.