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Medical News & Perspectives
June 13, 2017

More Treatments on Deck for Alcohol Use Disorder

JAMA. 2017;317(22):2267-2269. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.4760

Thirteen years have passed since the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last approved a new medication to help the nation’s millions of people with alcohol use disorder (AUD) stop or moderate their drinking.

Only 3 such formulations exist, and 1, disulfiram, dates to the Prohibition era. Known commercially as Antabuse and introduced in 1923, it makes people memorably ill if they ingest alcohol, but it doesn’t stop the cravings. The other 2, naltrexone and acamprosate, approved in 1994 and 2004, respectively, can alleviate cravings but only in some people.

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