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Topiramate in Alcohol Use Disorders: Review and Update

Abstract

To date, a limited number of pharmacological agents exist to treat alcohol use disorders (AUDs), and there is growing interest in new therapeutic tools. In this framework, topiramate may represent a useful treatment option, although its use is not yet approved for AUDs. The main focus of this review is to discuss all the existing data supporting the use of topiramate in AUDs, with an emphasis on the most recent and relevant clinical implications. In addition, the profile of the alcoholic patient who may benefit more from the use of topiramate is outlined. In this regard, the authors conducted a PubMed search of clinical human studies published in English using the following key words: topiramate alcohol dependence, topiramate alcohol withdrawal and topiramate alcoholism. The evidence suggests that topiramate could be an effective treatment option for the management of AUDs, while there are limited results for its use to treat alcohol withdrawal syndrome. In particular, topiramate shows a greater beneficial effect in subjects with a typology of craving characterised by drinking obsessions and automaticity of drinking. Topiramate, within the dosage range of 75–300 mg/day, could be considered as a first-line treatment option for the management of AUDs. Its use appears to be safe and well-tolerated, especially in light of very recent findings.

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Acknowledgments

The authors thank Rita Santacroce for language revision.

Conflict of interest

Drs. R. G., G. M., M. Q., L. I., I. K., M. D. N. and L. J., report no proprietary or commercial interest in any product mentioned or concept discussed in this article. In addition, we state that no funding was used to assist with the preparation of this manuscript.

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Correspondence to Riccardo Guglielmo.

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Guglielmo, R., Martinotti, G., Quatrale, M. et al. Topiramate in Alcohol Use Disorders: Review and Update. CNS Drugs 29, 383–395 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40263-015-0244-0

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s40263-015-0244-0

Keywords

  • Topiramate
  • Naltrexone
  • Memantine
  • Disulfiram
  • Acamprosate