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Journal Article


Kranzler HR, Covault J, Pierucci-Lagha A, Chan G, Douglas K, Arias AJ, Oncken C. Alcohol Clin. Exp. Res. 2008; 32(4): 573-579.


Department of Psychiatry, Alcohol Research Center, University of Connecticut School of Medicine, Farmington, Connecticut, USA.


(Copyright © 2008, John Wiley and Sons)








Background: Aripiprazole is an atypical antipsychotic with partial agonist activity at D(2) receptors, which could reduce the reinforcing effects of alcohol. The present study examined whether aripiprazole modifies the behavioral and physiological effects of a moderate dose of alcohol in a group of social drinkers. Methods: Eighteen healthy subjects (9 men; mean age = 27.6 years) completed a double-blind, within-subject study with 3 experimental sessions in a randomized sequence, during which they received no medication, aripiprazole 2.5 mg, or aripiprazole 10 mg on the day prior to the laboratory session. During the session, subjects consumed alcohol that was served as three standardized drinks (i.e., a total of 0.8 g/kg for men and 0.7 g/kg for women). Breath alcohol concentration (BrAC), heart rate, blood pressure, static ataxia, and subjective effects were measured regularly throughout the laboratory sessions. Results: Alcohol consumption produced physiological and subjective responses that were consistent with the literature on its effects. Pre-treatment with aripiprazole was generally well tolerated, with tiredness being the most commonly reported adverse event. The medication was associated with modest physiological effects. It also significantly and dose-dependently increased the sedative effects of alcohol and, to a lesser degree, decreased the euphoric effects of alcohol. Conclusions: These findings require replication in a larger subject sample that includes heavy drinkers and in a study that employs a placebo session. Based on its capacity to increase the sedative effects and decrease the euphoric effects of alcohol, aripiprazole could be of value in the treatment of heavy drinking.

Language: en


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