Researchers from the University of California, San Francisco, published a study in Biological Psychiatry linking a hormone drug to managing alcoholism.
An experiment performed on alcoholic rats showed that when administered with the drug carbegoline (Dostinex), the rats did not drink as much and displayed less alcoholic symptoms. It did not, however, affect their intake of other treats, such as water or sugar. The drug is normally prescribed to help in managing infertility as well as to address menstrual disorders.
The results of the study are viewed as a positive development, as it means that we may have found a drug that may be specific to addressing addiction to alcohol without side effects. Drugs in the market today generally have a side effect that decreases pleasure. This makes it difficult for people to stay on the drug.
Carbegoline in pill form is an approved medication by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, but as a drug to address conditions brought about by an increased production of the hormone prolactin by the body. The drug increases the body’s production of glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor protein (GDNF). The protein has already been found to trigger a decrease in the desire for alcohol.
The new experiment involved rats which have been trained to press a lever to get alcohol. When these mice were injected with carbegoline, it was observed that the rats pressed the lever less often. When the dosage was increased, it triggers a decrease in the number of presses on the lever.
Another positive effect of the drug as observed by researchers is its being effective in lowering alcohol cravings as well as decreasing the risk of relapse. Giving in to temptation is one of the biggest struggles of a recovering alcoholic, and it seems that carbegoline can manage even that.