The National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) recently announced it will conduct a clinical trial of Horizant, a drug that could be used to treat severe alcohol use disorder.
Horizant is currently used to treat restless leg syndrome, pain and epilepsy. Previous studies have shown that it may be affective in treating alcohol use disorder.
A recent study conducted at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, Calif., found that patients with alcohol use disorder who received gabapentin were more likely to stop or abstain from heavy drinking compared with controls.
The NIAAA study will assess whether Horizant reduces heavy drinking during the last month of treatment. Participants will be given two doses of the drug or a placebo daily for 26 weeks.
“[This drug] has shown promising results in earlier clinical trials, and the development of new medications is an important component of our commitment to broaden the range of treatment options for people with [alcohol use disorder],” said George F. Koob, PhD, director of the NIAAA.