For the article Common Heart Medication Can Help People Struggling With Alcohol Use Disorder.

Fig: Shutterstock (Shutterstock)

A common heart and blood pressure drug may see a second act as a treatment for alcohol use disorder, a new government-led study suggests this week. The study found evidence in both rats and humans that the drug spironolactone reduces people’s desire for alcohol and drinking.

Spironolactone First discovered in the late 1950s, it has been in the medicine cabinet for decades. It is a type of steroid that is primarily used for its diuretic effect, meaning it increases urine production and causes the loss of water and sodium. It has long been used to reduce fluid build-up caused by diseases such as heart failure and kidney diseaseReducing the risk of serious complications later; It is used in combination with other drugs to lower blood pressure.

Over the years, spironolactone has been shown to be beneficial for other health problems beyond these symptoms. Because it can block the production of androgen hormones linked to excess oil, for example, it is. Sometimes it is used To treat acne in women (in men, the side effects are not worth it, it causes low testosterone levels). And some research suggests that receptors blocked by spironolactone may play a role in people’s alcohol drive. If that’s the case, the drug could help people who suffer from alcoholism — a chronic disease with many treatments.

To better understand the drug’s potential, researchers at the National Institutes of Health decided to study its effects on rats and mice that were not poisoned or made dependent on alcohol. Increasing doses of spironolactone resulted in a corresponding decrease in alcohol consumption among both rats, male and female, and without side effects such as decreased appetite for food and water.

The second part of the study Medical records of patients treated by veterans were analyzed Affairs, the nation’s largest integrated health care system. Compared with matched control patients not taking the drug, VA patients on spironolactone for other conditions had greater reductions in alcohol use. And this reduction was in people who reported drinking large amounts of alcohol before taking the drug, as well as in people taking high doses of spironolactone.

These findings, Published Not enough evidence is needed to approve spironolactone as a new treatment for alcohol use disorder, published Tuesday in the journal Molecular Psychiatry. But different lines of evidence now make a strong case that it’s worth investing the time and resources to find out for sure, the authors say.

“These are very encouraging findings,” said study author George Kubb, director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. press release from the NIH. “Together, the current study argues for randomized controlled studies of spironolactone in people with alcohol use disorders and further work to further evaluate its safety and potential efficacy in this population, as well as to understand how spironolactone reduces alcohol consumption.”

There are three Approved drugs Alcohol use disorder. Only two of these drugs, naltrexone and acamprosate, are considered effective front-line treatments (the third drug, disulfiram, causes). Symptoms such as nausea when a person tries to drink and is usually only recommended as a last resort). in order to, Additional treatments are certainly needed for this difficult-to-treat condition. it is. Estimate 14.5 million Americans struggle with an alcohol use disorder, defined as a chronic physical and emotional dependence on alcohol that harms themselves and others. But less than 10% of victims received any treatment in the past year, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.