Physicians often overlook medication as treatment option for alcohol abuse

Drug treatments for alcohol problems are often overlooked by physicians, reports Kaiser Health News.

Here are five takeaways on the issue.

  • Two often overlooked medications for patients with alcohol cravings are Naltrexone and acamprosate.
  • Both Naltrexone and acamprosate "were associated with reduction in return to drinking," according to the report, which cites a 2014 analysis in the Journal of the American Medical Association of past studies.
  • Naltrexone, which also helps treat opiate addiction, comes in both an oral and injectable form and has few side effects, according to the report. The report states that Acamprosate, which comes in a tablet, was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2004 to treat only alcohol problems.
  • In addition to Naltrexone and acamprosate, Disulfiram (Antabuse) is the otherFDA-approved medication for the treatment of alcohol use disorder.
  • The National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, part of the federal National Institutes of Health, has developed a branch aimed at development of medications and is supporting trials of drugs to provide patients and physicians with more options, reports Kaiser Health News.

For more on this story, read Emma Yasinski's full report in Kaiser Health News.


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