Effective Therapies for Alcohol Use Disorder: A Comprehensive Comparison

Pharmacotherapy for Alcohol Use Disorder: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Alcohol use disorder impacts over 28.3 million individuals in the U.S., leading to increased health risks. This study compares the effectiveness of different therapies for alcohol use disorder, aiming to provide insights into the most beneficial treatments. The analysis includes data from 118 clinical trials involving 20,976 participants. Key findings suggest that acamprosate and oral naltrexone (at 50 mg/d) are effective in preventing a return to drinking, with numbers needed to treat of 11 and 18, respectively. Oral naltrexone (50 mg/d) also reduces heavy drinking rates, while injectable naltrexone decreases drinking days during the treatment period. Adverse effects include gastrointestinal distress, particularly for acamprosate and naltrexone. Overall, these results recommend oral naltrexone (50 mg/d) and acamprosate as primary pharmacotherapies when combined with psychosocial interventions for alcohol use disorder.

McPheeters M, O’Connor EA, Riley S, et al. Pharmacotherapy for Alcohol Use Disorder: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. JAMA. 2023;330(17):1653–1665. doi:10.1001/jama.2023.19761


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