Baclofen has been used since the 1970s as an anti-spasticity drug. Alcohol dependence is also frequently treated with naltrexone.

Baclofen offers a significant benefit over already approved medications: it is eliminated primarily in the urine. It is, therefore, possible to give baclofen to people suffering alcohol-related liver disease, a patient population with very high needs, and who often can’t tolerate licensed drug treatments.

Magic pill

Baclofen is a commonly prescribed medication that is frequently touted as a cure for alcoholism.

After many successful clinical trials, the usage of baclofen skyrocketed and sales have grown in several nations.

There have been studies throughout the years that directly compare baclofen to placebo in a variety of different outcomes. These outcome measures are usually connected to alcohol use, such as how many days of sobriety or excessive drinking were observed at the end of the study.

However, additional criteria may be involved in why baclofen works (i.e. its mechanism of action). One possible solution to reducing alcohol cravings and other bad feelings linked to alcohol, such as anxiety, and sadness, is the use of baclofen.

Purity of life

The University’s Addiction Research Team did a meta-analysis on all 12 clinical studies looking at at least one of the above-mentioned drinking outcomes, such as desire, anxiety, or depression.

Meta-analysis is a more advanced statistical process that combines the findings of all studies on a topic to provide a quantitative conclusion that quantifies the total influence of one variable on another. So, via meta-analysis, the findings are more accurate and dependable.

Baclofen produced much greater abstinence rates than placebo, and eight patients would have to be treated with the drug for one to stay abstinent.

Even while the other outcomes failed to demonstrate an impact of baclofen, it nevertheless led to improved abstinence days and lower rates of heavy drinking days.

Troubleshooting

Dr. Rose remarked, “Our investigation found many problems with current studies.” Not all of the trials had many patients, thus finding a significant result is unlikely.

There are several other differences, such as the dosage of baclofen administered and the period of therapy. Importantly, the pharmacokinetics of baclofen (how it travels in the body) are not well-understood, which may influence the efficacy of baclofen.”

Dr. Jones said: “In this new meta-analysis, baclofen does not outperform placebos on any major outcome measures, suggesting that current baclofen usage as a therapy for alcohol use disorders is premature.”