Pharmacological approaches to the management of alcohol addiction

G Addolorato, A Armuzzi, G Gasbarrini, G De Lorenzi, C Ancona, L Abenavoli, A Parente, L Leggio, E Capristo, A V Greco, L Janiri, G Pozzi, C Taranto, F Caputo, M Bernardi, G F Stefanini, F G Foschi et al.
European Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences 2002, 6 (5): 89-97
Alcohol abuse and alcoholism represent a world-wide problem, both from a medical and a social point of view. In the past the therapy for patients affected by alcoholism was based mainly on the psychological approach. In recent years the use of pharmacotherapy together with psychosocial interventions have enhanced the percentage of success in maintaining alcoholic patients in remission. The present review discusses the main drugs experimented both in preclinical and clinical studies. Pharmacotherapy of alcohol dependence seems to be effective in both alcohol-related emergencies and prevention relapse. However, pharmacotherapy should not be considered as the only form of treatment but as an integrated part of a multimodal approach including psychological and social support.

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