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Disulfiram in severe alcoholism--an open controlled study.

Author(s): Ulrichsen J, Nielsen MK, Ulrichsen M

Affiliation(s): Psychiatric Center Gentofte, Copenhagen University Hospitals, Denmark. jakobulrichsen@mac.com

Publication date & source: 2010-12, Nord J Psychiatry., 64(6):356-62. Epub 2010 Mar 18.

Publication type: Randomized Controlled Trial; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

BACKGROUND: Disulfiram is used to a great extent in Denmark to treat alcoholism but the evidence is limited. AIM: To study the effect of supervised disulfiram treatment in alcohol dependence. Subjects were recruited from a psychiatric emergency ward following alcohol withdrawal treatment. METHODS: A total of n=39 patients were openly randomized to either disulfiram 800 mg twice a week for 26 weeks (n=19) or no disulfiram (n=20). All patients were also treated with cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) in groups. RESULTS: The rate of abstinence was 20% and 26% in the control and disulfiram group, respectively. This difference was not statistically significant (NS). A trend towards increased mean time to first drink was found in the disulfiram group (96 vs. 76 days in the control group, NS), while fewer patients in this group completed CBT group therapy (41% vs. 67% in the control group, NS). Alcohol-free days were 100 days in both groups (NS). CONCLUSION: Supervised disulfiram administration did not have any major impact on the treatment outcome.

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