Harvard Mental Health Letter

In Brief: Topiramate may be effective at treating alcohol dependence

In Brief

Topiramate may be effective at treating alcohol dependence

Topiramate (Topamax) shows promise in helping people who are alcohol-dependent to cut back, according to the first large controlled study to evaluate it.

Researchers enrolled 371 men and women around the country. When the 14-week study began, the men all consumed at least 35 standard drinks per week; the women consumed at least 28. Neither participants nor researchers knew who was getting topiramate (up to 300 milligrams per day) or placebo pills. Brief weekly counseling sessions were given to enhance adherence.

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