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August 1983

Use of Disulfiram for Alcoholics in Methadone Maintenance ProgramsA Veterans Administration Cooperative Study

Author Affiliations

From the Veterans Administration Medical Centers at Sepulveda, Calif (Drs Ling and Blakis and Ms McIntyre), Perry Point, Md (Dr Weiss), Philadelphia (Dr O'Brien), Los Angeles (Dr Charuvastra), Wood, Wis (Dr Wang), Baltimore (Dr Savage), and Seattle (Dr Roszell); and the University of California at San Francisco (Dr Way).

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1983;40(8):851-854. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1983.01790070041005

• A multicentered clinical trial studied the efficacy and safety of disulfiram in controlling heavy alcohol consumption by patients on methadone maintenance regimens. The trial was stopped when sample size targets were not achieved. Efficacy comparisons were based on 82 patients who started the study; safety comparisons were based on 35 patients who completed 12 weeks of study. Patients received either disulfiram and methadone or placebo and methadone. Disulfiram was administered at a dosage of 125 mg/day for seven days and 250 mg/day thereafter for 36 weeks. No significant differences between the disulfiram and placebo groups were observed in either the retention in study or any other important end point. Both groups showed improvement in control of drinking during the study. There were no serious adverse reactions that could be attributed to the combined use of the two drugs.