Gabapentin Can Decrease Heavy Drinking and Increase Abstinence for Patients with Alcohol Dependence
Existing pharmacotherapies for alcohol use disorders have modest efficacy and there are few choices. Researchers tested gabapentin, 900 mg and 1800 mg three times a day, versus placebo, in a randomized trial. The 150 adults had alcohol dependence, were abstinent for at least 3 days, did not use other drugs or have significant comorbidity, and were recruited by advertisements. Primary outcomes were ascertained for 97% of participants.
- At 12 weeks, there was a linear dose effect, and abstinence (17% versus 4%) and no heavy drinking (45% versus 23%) were more common in the 1800 mg dose group, although 95% confidence intervals for these effects overlapped with the lower dose and with effects in the placebo group.
- Findings beyond consumption (such as sleep outcomes) were difficult to interpret because of substantial loss to follow-up.