Raymond F. Anton, M.D.; Hugh Myrick, M.D.; Tara M. Wright, M.D.; Patricia K. Latham, Ph.D.; Alicia M. Baros, Ph.D.; L. Randolph Waid, Ph.D.; Patrick K. Randall, Ph.D.
Several medications have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of alcohol dependence—disulfiram, naltrexone (both oral and long-acting injectable), and acamprosate—and a few other medications, such as topiramate, have been shown to be effective in treating alcohol dependence. However, many individuals respond only partially or not at all to
these agents. There is a need for new medication treatments, especially ones using agents that target different aspects of alcohol dependence, ranging from individual phenomenological to genetic differences. One such phenomenological difference may be defined by a set of signs and symptoms that might change over time as individuals attempt to stop drinking. For instance, it is well known that the period immediately after cessation of alcohol consumption is a high-risk time for relapse drinking.
This early abstinence period might be defined by certain phenomena that are likely to ameliorate over time with continued abstinence.