New uses for Topiramate and Quetiapine?

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In 2003, a study was conducted that suggested that topiramate, commonly known as topomax, is useful in reducing the cravings associated with alcoholism. The same group is now conducting a larger study that replicates the previous study, which is randomized, multi-locale, and placebo-controlled. The new study revealed similar findings regarding topiramate. Topiramate was found to reduce participant drinks per day, number of heavy drinking days, and increased days of patient abstinence in comparison to placebo taking patients.

Similarly, in a 12-week study of the antipsychotic drug quetiapine, wherein 61 patients with Type A (33) and Type B (28) alcoholism were analyzed, patients with Type B alcoholism experienced reduced drinks per day, reduced heavy drinking days, and increased days of abstinence. One possibility is that quetiapine is reducing symptoms commonly associated with Type B alcoholism, such as antisocial behavior, and thus reducing the need for alcohol as a coping agent.

The following is an excerpt of an article from Journal Watch that discusses the promising findings:

In 2003, researchers conducting a randomized controlled trial established the efficacy of topiramate for alcohol dependence. Now, the same group has conducted a longer and larger (14 vs. 8 weeks; n=371 vs. 150), multisite, randomized, placebo-controlled, manufacturer-funded trial of topiramate. Topiramate (dose, 300 mg/day, titrated over 6 weeks [titration lasted 8 weeks in the previous study]), was superior to placebo in reducing the percentage of heavy drinking days, reducing drinks per drinking day, and increasing abstinent days. Still, effect sizes were smaller and topiramate was less well tolerated than in the initial study, with paresthesia, anorexia, and poor concentration commonly reported. Only 63% of topiramate recipients versus 78% of placebo recipients completed the trial.

Click here to read the entire article from Journal Watch

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