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The aim of this study is to evaluate the safety and efficacy of acamprosate for patients with alcohol dependence and comorbid schizophrenia spectrum disorders.
- 1: Relative to placebo, acamprosate will significantly increase cumulative days of abstinence in recently detoxified alcohol dependent schizophrenia patients measured by Timeline Follow-Back (TLFB) method.
- 2: Acamprosate will have no significant effect on the psychotic symptoms in schizophrenia patients with alcohol dependence as measured by the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS).
Alcohol use disorders (AUD) are common comorbid conditions in patients with schizophrenia, and they cause a negative impact on the expression and course of schizophrenia. Improvements have been reported after attaining abstinence from alcohol, suggesting that effective treatments for AUD lead to clinically meaningful results. Acamprosate is a recently approved treatment for alcoholism, and it may be advantageous over other treatments since is not metabolized in the liver, and it has been used safely with other psychotropic medications. Therefore, acamprosate would be a promising treatment in schizophrenia patients. However, there are only few reports in the current literature evaluating the efficacy of medications available for the treatment of alcoholism in patients with schizophrenia, and the efficacy and safety of acamprosate have never been studied in this vulnerable group of patients.
This is a 12-week, randomized, double blind, placebo controlled trial of acamprosate (666 mg tid) in addition to neuroleptics in 30 recently abstinent (>5 days) schizophrenia patients with comorbid alcohol dependence.
The study will be conducted at the West Haven, CT VA with support from Forest Laboratories. Patients who are between 21 and 65, with a diagnosis of schizophrenia spectrum disorder, (on stable psychotropic treatment > 2 weeks) and with current alcohol dependence (>1 recent episode of heavy drinking) will be included. Patients will be willing to undergo detoxification or self discontinuation >2weeks prior to the randomization. Main outcome variables include the TLFB method to document the degree of daily alcohol consumption, and PANSS, to assess the psychotic symptoms.
Allocation: Randomized, Control: Placebo Control, Endpoint Classification: Safety/Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment, Masking: Double Blind (Subject, Caregiver, Investigator), Primary Purpose: Treatment
VA Connecticut Healthcare System
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Psychiatry is the study of mental disorders and their diagnosis, management and prevention. Conditions include schizophrenia, severe depression and panic disorders among others. There are pharmaceutical treatments as well as other therapies to help...
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