6-Nov-13 8:00 AM  CST

NIH Study Shows Gabapentin May Assist With Alcohol Dependence

Alcohol can be enjoyed during the holidays or at any time, but the enjoyment from alcohol can sometimes get out of hand in some individuals which can lead to alcohol use disorders.  These disorders affect 18 million people in the U.S. and the societal cost of the disorders is about $225 billion a year according to a recent NIH press release.       

            A new study founded by the National Institute of Health (NIH) shows that the generic drug gabapentin may help treat alcohol dependence in an effective manner.  The study was published in the Nov 4th, 2013 edition of JAMA Internal Medicine.  Pharmacy technicians may recall that gabapentin is used in the treatment of epilepsy, pain conditions, and prescribed off-label in the treatment of Bipolar Disorder. 

            “The results of the study on gabapentin showed similar or greater positive outcomes when compared to existing FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) approved treatments for alcohol dependence,” said Dr. Mason, Pearson Family Professor and co-director of the Pearson Center for Alcoholism and Addiction Research at TSRI, and leader of the new research.  “Plus, it’s the only medication shown to improve sleep and mood in people who are quitting or reducing their drinking, and it’s already widely used in primary care — that’s an appealing combination,” said Mason.

            The new study will hopefully bring more helpful insight to doctors, pharmacists, and pharmacy technicians wishing to learn more about treatments for alcohol dependence.     




1.  NIH Press Release.  “NIH-Funded Study Finds that gabapentin May Treat Alcohol Dependence.”  NIH.  Web.  4 Nov 2013.   

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Jennifer O'Reilly
Source: Jennifer O'Reilly  

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