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Effectiveness of Naltrexone and/or Ondansetron to Reduce Craving for Alcohol and Drinking

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT00183222
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : September 16, 2005
Last Update Posted : May 5, 2010
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
Information provided by:
Medical University of South Carolina

Brief Summary:
The purpose of this study is to determine whether naltrexone (an opiate blocking agent approved for the treatment of alcohol dependence), ondansetron a serotonin 3 antagonist medication approved to treat nausea) or their combination are effective in the reduction of alcohol craving and drinking compared to placebo.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Alcohol Dependence Drug: naltrexone (up to 50 mg/day) for 8 days; ondansetron (0.25 mg twice a day) for 8 days Phase 2

Detailed Description:

Non-treatment seeking individuals meeting criteria for alcohol dependence N=160) will be recruited through advertisement and paid for their participation. Alcoholics, after baseline evaluation, will be assigned through urn randomization (using a double dummy placebo controlled design) to one of four experimental groups, naltrexone (50 mg/day) (N=40), ondansetron (0.25 mg twice a day) (N=40), naltrexone and ondansetron (N=40) or placebos (N=40). Subjects will take the study drugs for 8 days (day 1-5 being the natural observation period). After a minimum of 48 hours of abstinence from alcohol day 6-8) they will undergo an alcohol administration (priming dose) and motivated free choice drinking procedure (on day 8). Alcoholic subjects will receive a brief counseling session at the end of the study to enhance their awareness of problem drinking and to motivate them to seek treatment. Referral for treatment will be offered.A subset of subjects from each medication group (N=15) will undergo a functional MRI brain scan with cue stimulation on day 7, on the evening before the alcohol administration paradigm.

A smaller group of social drinker controls (N=16), recruited and paid in a similar fashion, will be randomly assigned to the same medication groups (4 per group). They will be used as procedure controls for the alcohol administration lab study and as a comparison/contrast group for the brain imaging sub-study.

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Enrollment : 160 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Factorial Assignment
Masking: Double
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Alcohol Research Center Grant. Component #1. COMBINING MEDICATIONS: ALCOHOL REACTIVITY AND CONSUMPTION
Study Start Date : May 2005
Actual Study Completion Date : December 2005

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. "Natural" alcohol consumption period -- Total number of drinks consumed during the 5 day observation period
  2. Pharmacological effects of alcohol consumption -- Average BAES stimulation score
  3. Limited access alcohol consumption paradigm -- Total number of drinks consumed
  4. Cue induced brain imaging -- Alcohol beverage cue minus neutral beverage cue activity in nucleus accumbens and insula

Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. Change in craving as measured by the OCDS from pre-study to end of 5 day period
  2. Change in craving from pre to post-alcohol ingestion
  3. Change in craving during limited-access alcohol consumption
  4. Change in craving during cue-induced brain activity
  5. Side effects of medications

Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   21 Years to 65 Years   (Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes

Inclusion Criteria:

Inclusion Criteria (alcohol dependent group):

  1. Age 21 65
  2. Meets the DSM IV criterion for current alcohol dependence including "loss of control over drinking" (criterion 4) but does not necessarily have signs of physiologic dependence as expressed in criterion for tolerance development (criterion 1) and withdrawal symptoms or use to avoid withdrawal symptoms (criterion 2).
  3. Currently is not engaged in, and does not want treatment for, alcohol related problems.
  4. Able to read and understand questionnaires and informed consent.
  5. Lives within 50 miles of the study site.
  6. Able to maintain abstinence for up to three days (without the aid of detox medications) as determined by self report and breathalyzer measurements.

Inclusion Criteria (social drinker group):

  1. Age 21 65
  2. Does not meet the DSM IV criterion for lifetime or current alcohol abuse or dependence.
  3. Consumes, on average, less than 14 standard drinks per week. But has consumed at least 2 standard drinks on at least one occasion in the last month.
  4. Currently is not engaged in, and does not want, treatment for alcohol related problems.
  5. Able to read and understand questionnaires and informed consent.
  6. Able to maintain abstinence for three days.

Inclusion for fMRI imaging sub-study (see methodology section for rationale):

  1. Does not have metal objects in the head/neck.
  2. Does not have a history of claustrophobia leading to significant clinical anxiety symptoms.
  3. Between the age of 25-45 years.
  4. Does not currently smoke (note: 62% of our current sample are non-smokers).

Exclusion Criteria:

  1. Currently meets DSM IV criteria for any other psychoactive substance dependence disorder.
  2. History of opiate abuse or a positive urine drug screen for opiates.
  3. Any psychoactive substance use (except marijuana and nicotine) within the last 30 days as evidenced by self-report and urine drug screen. For marijuana -no use within the last seven days.
  4. Meets DSM IV criteria for current axis I disorders of major depression, panic disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, post traumatic stress syndrome, bipolar affective disorder, schizophrenia, dissociate disorders and eating disorders, any other psychotic disorder or organic mental disorder.
  5. Has current suicidal ideation or homicidal ideation.
  6. Need for maintenance or acute treatment with any psychoactive medication including anti-seizure medications.
  7. Current use of disulfiram.
  8. Clinically significant medical problems such as, cardiovascular, renal, GI, or endocrine problem that would impair participation or limit medication ingestion.
  9. Past history of alcohol related medical illness such as gastrointestinal bleeding, pancreatitis, peptic ulcer, hepatic cirrhosis or alcoholic hepatitis.
  10. Hepatocellular disease indicated by elevations of SGPT (ALT) or SGOT (AST) greater than 2 1/2 times normal at screening.
  11. Females of child bearing potential who are pregnant (by urine HCG), nursing, or who are not using a reliable form of birth control.
  12. Has current charges pending for a violent crime (not including DUI related offenses).
  13. Does not have a stable living situation.

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT00183222

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United States, South Carolina
Center for Drug and Alcohol Programs, Medical University of South Carolina
Charleston, South Carolina, United States, 29425
Sponsors and Collaborators
Medical University of South Carolina
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
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Principal Investigator: Raymond F Anton, MD Medical University of South Carolina
Layout table for additonal information Identifier: NCT00183222    
Other Study ID Numbers: NIAAAANT010761-2005a
P50AA010761 ( U.S. NIH Grant/Contract )
NIH Grant P50 AA010761
First Posted: September 16, 2005    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: May 5, 2010
Last Verified: May 2010
Keywords provided by Medical University of South Carolina:
Alcohol dependence
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Alcohol-Related Disorders
Substance-Related Disorders
Chemically-Induced Disorders
Mental Disorders
Alcohol Deterrents
Narcotic Antagonists
Physiological Effects of Drugs
Sensory System Agents
Peripheral Nervous System Agents
Autonomic Agents
Gastrointestinal Agents
Dermatologic Agents
Serotonin Antagonists
Serotonin Agents
Neurotransmitter Agents
Molecular Mechanisms of Pharmacological Action
Antipsychotic Agents
Tranquilizing Agents
Central Nervous System Depressants
Psychotropic Drugs
Anti-Anxiety Agents