(CBS News) – A new review finds that several drugs can help curb the desire to drink alcohol, but the researchers note that these medications are rarely prescribed.
Acamprosate (Campral) and naltrexone (Revia), along with support from groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous or psychological counseling, can be useful tools to help people stay away from alcohol, the review authors report.
“Most people with alcohol use disorders aren’t getting any treatment, and only about 10 percent are getting a medication as part of their treatment,” said lead researcher Dr. Daniel Jonas, an assistant professor of medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Two other drugs, nalmefene (Selincro) and topiramate (Topamax) also can help patients stop drinking, he said. Nalmefene is approved for pain relief and topiramate is approved to prevent seizures, but they are also used “off-label” to treat alcohol abuse.