Upcoming Webinars Archived Webinars Training Vitals Host A Webinar About Get Updates Contact

Japanese Asthma Drug Could Be Effective Treatment for Alcoholism



The small human trial involved 17 males and seven females who reported drinking seven alcoholic beverages per day, at least 21 days out of the month.

Share this!

February 2, 2017 | by Sarah Hand, M.Sc.

A new study conducted by researchers at UCLA, has found that an asthma medication which is only approved in Japan could be an effective treatment option for patients struggling with alcoholism. The study – which was published in the journal, Neuropsychopharmacology – was the first to test the anti-inflammatory drug, ibudilast, in patients with alcoholism.

The small human trial involved 17 males and seven females who reported drinking seven alcoholic beverages per day, at least 21 days out of the month. Patients were randomly assigned to receive an escalating dose of the drug, or a placebo, over a six-day period.

After a two-week rest period, the patient groups were switched to allow placebo participants to receive the drug. According to the study investigators, patients exhibited lower alcohol cravings when they were taking ibudilast, compared to the placebo.

The researchers also noted changes in mood while patients were taking the drug. In one test, the study participants were asked to hold and smell a glass of an alcoholic beverage, but refrain from consuming the drink. Patients taking ibudilast reported better moods, compared to the placebo.

Patients were also given an intravenous dose of alcohol on the sixth day of the study, in order to determine how the drug interacts with alcohol. As patients being treated for alcoholism may still drink, it was important for the researchers to determine whether the drug would be safe in this situation.

“We found that ibudilast is safe and well-tolerated,” said Lara Ray, a UCLA professor of psychology, director of the UCLA Addictions Laboratory and the study's lead author. “This medication can be safely administered, including when people are drinking alcohol.”

The drug also appeared to help participants recover from stressful situations, and benefitted those with depressive symptoms. The researchers also reported that ibudilast may reduce the pleasurable effects of alcohol consumption.

Previous research has shown that ibudilast was effective in rats at reducing alcohol consumption. “We're excited to see that the strong animal data with ibudilast is now followed by our finding that ibudilast is well-tolerated in humans,” said Ray.

To date, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has only approved four treatments for alcoholism, but they are not widely-prescribed. More clinical trials will need to be performed in order to determine whether ibudilast would be effective at treating alcoholism.

Keywords: Anti-inflammatory, Alcoholism, FDA


Share this with your colleagues!

Insurance Coverage Under the Affordable Care Act Supports Clinical Trial Enrollment, Says Study

July 20, 2017 - Since the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) was passed in 2010, insurance approval for patients wishing to participate in oncology clinical trials has increased, according to a recent study published in the journal, Clinical Cancer Research.

Featured In: Clinical Trial News

FDA Approves Puma Biotechnology’s Extended Adjuvant Therapy for Breast

July 19, 2017 - Puma Biotechnology’s breast cancer drug Nerlynx (neratinib) has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Featured In: Biotech News

CAR-T Cell Therapy Shows Promise as Leukemia Treatment in Early Stage Clinical Trial

July 19, 2017 - About 70 percent of clinical trial participants with chronic lymphocytic leukemia experienced tumor shrinkage after being treated with CAR-T immunotherapy, according to researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

Featured In: Clinical Trial News


Manufacturing Control Strategies: What Pharmaceutical and Biotech Companies Need to Know


Outsourcing Pharmacovigilance: Pros and Cons and Lessons Learned

EDC and eSource: Combined for Better Data and Faster Insights

Using Model Reduction to Bridge the Quality Systems Pharmacology-Pharmacometrics Divide

How to Maximize Your Non-GLP Toxicology Studies: A Guide for Optimal Design and Methodology

Copyright © 2016-2017 Honeycomb Worldwide Inc.