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A Human Laboratory Study of Baclofen in Alcoholism: A Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Randomized Clinical Trial

Friday, September 18, 2015 — Poster Session IV

12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
FAES Terrace


  • M Farokhnia
  • J Amodio
  • J Bollinger
  • T Lionetti
  • D Spero
  • LA Farinelli
  • MR Lee
  • ML Schwandt
  • L Leggio


Preclinical and clinical studies suggest that, the GABA-B receptor agonist baclofen may represent a novel treatment for alcoholism. Previous studies suggest that there is individual variability in response to baclofen and patients with higher levels of anxiety may have better response. Additionally, the biobehavioral mechanisms by which baclofen reduces drinking are not well characterized. In a human laboratory pilot study, fourteen alcohol-dependent heavy drinkers were randomized to receive baclofen (30 mg/day) or placebo for 7 days. One week after, an alcohol cue-reactivity (CR) experiment followed by alcohol self-administration (ASA) was performed in a bar-like testing room. During the CR, participants were exposed to different stimuli associated with neutral and alcohol beverages. Their urge and attention to alcohol, salivation, and vital signs were measured during CR. After having a priming drink during ASA, participants could choose to drink or not up to 8 mini-drinks. Alcohol’s stimulant and sedative effects were assessed using the Biphasic Alcohol Effects Scale (BAES). During the CR, baclofen-treated patients experienced significantly more salivation (p

Category: Social and Behavioral Sciences