QUT study reveals heart medication could treat alcohol addiction

Posted on April 13, 2016 by Addiction Editor

alcohol_addiction_1QUT researchers have been working for more than a year to test whether the FDA-approved drug Pindolol, used to treat high blood pressure by slowing down a person’s heart rate, could be also used to treat alcohol addiction.

Between five to 12 per cent of Australians fell into the very severe end of the alcohol consumption spectrum, said Dr Matthew Frei, the clinical director of the Turning Point Alcohol and Drug Centre.

In a news report by Amy Mitchell-Whittington at the Brisbane Times, Dr Frei said there were very few alcohol addiction treatments on the market at the moment and said if it was found Pindolol had very little side-effects for alcohol addicts it could be widely used.

“It would depend on the nature of the medication, if it is a very low-risk medication with really good outcomes then your threshold, your level at which people are treated, would probably drop,” he said.

“There are very few medications on the market at the moment, they haven’t really been taken up much by GPs, I think that is because they weren’t marketed well enough, GPs weren’t educated enough about them.

“If you had a medication for people who just got really drunk on weekends or those who weren’t heavy drinkers, there might be a role for that.”

Dr Frei said there wasn’t ever going to be a “magic pill” but said there was room for a treatment drug to be used in conjunction with other support and counselling networks.

“I really don’t think that we are going to find a magic pill to treat alcohol use entirely, even current medications that have been around for a while, they really need to be used with counselling and support and resources to help people drink less,” he said. To read more click here.

Alcohol addiction will be discussed at the Australian and New Zealand Addiction Conference 2016, themed Alcohol – Other Drugs – Behavioural Addictions, Prevention, Treatment and Recovery will be held on the Gold Coast from the 19 – 20 May 2016. To view the high quality Conference Program CLICK HERE.

To register your attendance at the conference CLICK HERE.

Hosted by The Australia and New Zealand Mental Health Association promotes and encourages participation from all parts of the sector towards a shared appreciation of what medical, psycho-social and peer-based approaches can offer, through the experiences of service users, clinicians, and researchers alike.

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