Alcoholism is a disease that not only affects the health and well-being of the person addicted, it can also affect everyone close to that person. Breaking the cycle of alcohol abuse can be difficult, and in many instances, can feel impossible. However, FDA-approved medication for alcohol abuse can be used in conjunction with counseling with effective results. What follows is a summary of some of the medications used to combat alcohol use disorder.

The Sinclair Method

The Sinclair Method (TSM) is a treatment for alcohol addiction that uses a technique called pharmacological extinction—the use of an opiate blocker to turn habit-forming behaviors into habit erasing behaviors. The effect returns a person’s craving for alcohol to its pre-addiction state. TSM consists of taking Naltrexone or Nalmefene one hour before your first drink of the day for the rest of your life as long as you continue to drink. Naltrexone (or Nalmefene) chemically disrupts the body’s behavior/reward cycle causing you to want to drink less instead of more. The Sinclair Method has a 78% long-term success rate.*

Antabuse

Antabuse has been available for over 50 years, making it the oldest drug of its kind on the market. It works by affecting the body’s ability to absorb alcohol. This allows the build-up of acetaldehyde which means that even ingestion of a small amount of alcohol will cause unwanted side effects including flushing, palpitations, and extreme nausea. Antabuse doesn’t take away the craving for alcohol but will help a person to stop drinking before unpleasant side effects result. If you have a difficult time controlling your drinking in social situations, this medication can assist you in knowing when to stop drinking, making it a very effective drug.

Naltrexone

People who suffer from alcohol use disorder typically like to drink because of the feeling they get from it, and therefore, they crave more and more of it. Naltrexone is a medication for alcohol abuse that helps to take away the pleasure received from drinking and also the craving for alcohol. It does so by blocking the release of endorphins which are proteins in the body that elevate mood. This medication can be taken once daily in the form of a pill or a once a month injection. People are more likely to stick with this medication because of the convenience getting the injection one time a month.

Campral

Campral aids with alcohol use disorder in that it minimizes withdrawal side effects when a person doesn’t drink for long periods of time. Some of the side effects this medication combats include restlessness, negative mood changes, and insomnia. Campral interferes with the chemical messenger systems in the brain. It is administered by mouth three times daily.

Topamax

Detoxification can be dangerous. It can cause a person to have violent seizures. Topamax is FDA-approved to treat seizures associated with detoxification. It is not intended to treat alcoholism and is similar to Campral in how it works. It may help reduce the effects of going without alcohol for a long time period, but it will not take away the desire to drink or the pleasurable effects experienced with drinking alcohol.

If you or a loved one is suffering from alcohol addiction, contact us today to schedule a consultation.  The Sinclair Method offers hope to break-free from addiction to alcohol.  Call today!  (972) 203-3600