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Predicting Alcoholics' Treatment Responses to a Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitor (SSRI)

This study has been completed.
Information provided by:
University of Cincinnati Identifier:
First received: November 4, 2005
Last updated: November 2, 2010
Last verified: November 2010

This study is being done to determine if citalopram is safe and effective in the treatment of alcohol dependence. A second purpose is to evaluate whether alcohol dependent individuals who differ in a specific genetic marker respond differently to citalopram.

Citalopram is a drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of depression. It belongs to a category of medications called selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors or SSRIs. The U.S. FDA has not approved citalopram for the treatment of alcohol dependence. Therefore, it is being used "off-label" in this study.

Condition Intervention Phase
Alcohol Abuse
Drug: Citalopram + MI
Behavioral: Placebo + MI
Phase 2

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Endpoint Classification: Safety/Efficacy Study
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Double Blind (Subject, Caregiver, Investigator)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Predicting Alcoholics' Treatment Responses to an SSRI

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by University of Cincinnati:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Percent days abstinent [ Time Frame: 24 weeks ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • Percent heavy drinking days [ Time Frame: 24 weeks ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]

Estimated Enrollment: 200
Study Start Date: February 2005
Study Completion Date: October 2010
Primary Completion Date: October 2010 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Experimental: 1
Drug: Citalopram + MI
14-week citalopram treatment + Motivational Interview (MI) and 9 brief sessions of a manual-guided Compliance Enhancement Therapy; post-treatment follow-up assessments will be conducted at 4, 12 and 24 weeks.
Other Name: celexa
Placebo Comparator: 2
Behavioral: Placebo + MI
placebo + single Motivational Interview (MI) and 9 brief sessions of a manual-guided Compliance Enhancement Therapy; post-treatment follow-up assessments will be conducted at 4, 12 and 24 weeks.

Detailed Description:

Relapse to alcoholism remains a vexing clinical and national health problem. Efforts to match alcohol dependent patients to specific treatments based on their clinical characteristics have produced mixed results. Pharmacogenetics (the study of genetic influences on therapeutic response to drugs) offers a powerful new tool to match specific elements of an individual patient's complex genetic blueprint with targeted pharmacotherapies to which that individual may optimally respond.

The purpose of this proposed research is to apply pharmacogenetic techniques to predict which alcohol dependent patients will respond favorably to a trial of a selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitor (SSRI) for the prevention of alcoholism relapse. Our central hypothesis is that genetic differences affecting serotonin transporter function will influence an alcohol dependent individual's treatment response to the SSRI, citalopram. To test this hypothesis, we will perform a 14-week, randomized, double blind, parallel group comparison of citalopram and placebo in treatment seeking outpatients who meet DSM-IV criteria for alcohol dependence. All subjects will receive a single Motivational Interview and 9 brief sessions of a manual-guided Compliance Enhancement Therapy designed to promote treatment adherence and enhance motivation to quit or cut down on drinking. Post-treatment follow-up assessments will be conducted at 4, 12 and 24 weeks. Subjects' DNA will be genotyped to determine allelic variants in the promoter region of the serotonin transporter gene that have been found to markedly affect serotonin reuptake and influence treatment responsiveness to SSRIs.


Ages Eligible for Study:   21 Years to 65 Years
Genders Eligible for Study:   Both
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Outpatients with a diagnosis of DSM-IV alcohol dependence
  • Not morbidly obese or underweight
  • Express desire to quit or cut down on drinking for duration of trial

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Clinically significant laboratory evidence of diseases
  • Have active psychological disorders other than alcoholism
  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00249405

United States, Ohio
University of Cincinnati
Cincinnati, Ohio, United States, 45237
Sponsors and Collaborators
University of Cincinnati
Principal Investigator: Robert M. Anthenelli, MD University of Cincinnati
  More Information

No publications provided by University of Cincinnati

Additional publications automatically indexed to this study by Identifier (NCT Number):
Responsible Party: Robert Anthenelli, M.D., Principle Investigator Identifier: NCT00249405     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: NIAAAANT013957-B, R01AA013957, NIH Grant R01 AA013957-02
Study First Received: November 4, 2005
Last Updated: November 2, 2010
Health Authority: United States: Federal Government

Keywords provided by University of Cincinnati:
Clinical trial
Therapy compliance
Serotonin inhibitor
Alcoholism/alcohol abuse therapy

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Alcohol-Related Disorders
Chemically-Induced Disorders
Mental Disorders
Substance-Related Disorders
Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors
Anti-Dyskinesia Agents
Antidepressive Agents
Antidepressive Agents, Second-Generation
Antiparkinson Agents
Autonomic Agents
Central Nervous System Agents
Cholinergic Agents
Cholinergic Antagonists
Molecular Mechanisms of Pharmacological Action
Muscarinic Antagonists
Neurotransmitter Agents
Neurotransmitter Uptake Inhibitors
Peripheral Nervous System Agents
Pharmacologic Actions
Physiological Effects of Drugs
Psychotropic Drugs
Serotonin Agents
Therapeutic Uses processed this record on November 20, 2014