COVID-19 is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation.
Get the latest public health information from CDC:

Get the latest research information from NIH: Menu

Citicoline for Alcohol Dependence

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: NCT02074735
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : February 28, 2014
Results First Posted : July 24, 2018
Last Update Posted : July 24, 2018
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Sherwood Brown, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center

Brief Summary:
The purpose of this study is to determine if citicoline, as an add-on therapy, will help reduce alcohol use in outpatients with alcohol dependence.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Alcohol Dependence Drug: Placebo Drug: Citicoline Phase 4

Detailed Description:

A total of 62 outpatients with alcohol dependence will be enrolled in a 12-week, randomized, placebo-controlled trial. Participants will be randomized to receive either placebo or citicoline.

Throughout the study, participants will be asked about their alcohol use and any withdrawal or craving symptoms. Depressive symptoms will be measured as well. Cognition and memory will be measured as well with a neurocognitive battery. Blood will be drawn at study start and week 12 to measure liver enzyme levels.

Appointments will be weekly for the entire study. Participants will have a physician follow-up at every study appointment.

Layout table for study information
Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 62 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Triple (Participant, Investigator, Outcomes Assessor)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Citicoline for Alcohol Dependence
Study Start Date : April 2014
Actual Primary Completion Date : October 2016
Actual Study Completion Date : November 2016

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

Arm Intervention/treatment
Placebo Comparator: Placebo
Placebo schedule will mimic the schedule of the active comparator citicoline. Placebo will be started at the randomization visit (week 0, mimicking 500 mg/day of citicoline), then increased at week 2 to mimic 1000 mg/day citicoline, then increased to mimic 1500 mg/day of citicoline at week 4, and then increased to mimic 2000 mg/day of citicoline at week 6 until the end of week 12.
Drug: Placebo
Inactive ingredient matching the active comparator in appearance
Other Name: Sugar pill

Active Comparator: Citicoline
Citicoline will be started at 500 mg/day at the randomization visit (week 0), then increased to 1000 mg/day at week 2, then 1500 mg/day at week 4, and then 2000 mg/day at week 6 until the end of week 12.
Drug: Citicoline
Citicoline is an over-the-counter nutritional supplement that is used for neuroprotective effects. It is a naturally occurring neurochemical in the human body.
Other Names:
  • CDP-choline
  • cytidine diphosphate-choline

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Heavy Drinking Days Per Week [ Time Frame: 12 weeks ]
    Heavy drinking days are defined as "4 or more drinks for women, 5 or more drinks for men in a single day". Participants self-reported the type and amount of alcohol consumed during each assessment period. From this information, number of standard drinks per day was calculated using the following formula: "(number of drinks) x (oz per drink) x (alcohol by volume or ABV)". The average number of heavy drinking days was calculated by dividing the number of heavy drinking days per week by the number of days in the assessment period.

Information from the National Library of Medicine

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, Learn About Clinical Studies.

Layout table for eligibility information
Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 75 Years   (Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Men and women age 18-75 years old with diagnosis of alcohol dependence
  • Average alcohol use of at least 28 drinks per week and at least 7 heavy drinking days (defined as 4 or more drinks/day for women, 5 or more drinks/day for men) in the past 28 days
  • No alcohol use within 72 hours of randomization (maximum abstinence 7 days)
  • CIWA-Ar (withdrawal scale) score less than or equal to 8 at randomization (consistent with minimal or no withdrawal symptoms and medication probably not needed)

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Vulnerable populations including individuals with intellectual disability or dementia, prison or jail inmates, pregnant or nursing women, or women of childbearing age who will not use acceptable forms of birth control
  • History of arrhythmias
  • Myocardial infarction or coronary artery bypass graft surgery in the past 6 months
  • Active angina or blood pressure >170/105
  • High risk for suicide (defined as suicide attempt in past 6 months, or current suicidal ideation with plan and intent)
  • High risk of violence toward others (defined as assault in past 6 months, or violent thoughts with evidence of plan and intent)
  • Intensive outpatient treatment for substance abuse (AA, NA meetings or weekly therapy/counseling for substance use for at least 28 days prior to randomization will be allowed)
  • Dependence (not just abuse) on substances other than alcohol or nicotine
  • History of delirium tremens or other sever alcohol withdrawal symptoms, history of cirrhosis or AST or ALT >3 times normal, or other unstable medical condition (e.g. uncontrolled diabetes)
  • History of bipolar disorder or schizophrenia
  • Current major depressive episode (past episodes and current milder depressive symptoms allowed) or other psychiatric disorder that should be a major focus of treatment

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): NCT02074735

Layout table for location information
United States, Texas
The University of Texas Southwestern Medical CEnter
Dallas, Texas, United States, 75390
Sponsors and Collaborators
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
Layout table for investigator information
Principal Investigator: Sherwood Brown, M.D., Ph.D. UT Southwestern Medical Center
Layout table for additonal information
Responsible Party: Sherwood Brown, Professor, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center Identifier: NCT02074735    
Other Study ID Numbers: 072012-088
First Posted: February 28, 2014    Key Record Dates
Results First Posted: July 24, 2018
Last Update Posted: July 24, 2018
Last Verified: July 2018
Keywords provided by Sherwood Brown, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center:
alcohol dependence
alcohol abuse
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Layout table for MeSH terms
Alcohol-Related Disorders
Substance-Related Disorders
Chemically-Induced Disorders
Mental Disorders
Cytidine Diphosphate Choline
Lipotropic Agents
Hypolipidemic Agents
Molecular Mechanisms of Pharmacological Action
Gastrointestinal Agents
Lipid Regulating Agents
Nootropic Agents