This may change soon as researchers have now identified a few medicines that can work wonders in when used in conjunction with behavioural therapies.

"We have medications that can help," Daniel Jonas, an associate professor of medicine at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, was quoted as saying.

The medications (namely naltrexone, acamprosate, topiramate, and nalmefene), appear to help curb drinking problems by fighting the biology of alcohol addiction, the researchers said.

Unlike Antabuse (a medication used for decades to treat alcoholics) that makes people wretchedly ill if they drink, these medicines do not make people so sick.

Instead, these are drugs that address the brain chemistry that gets messed up by alcohol. In an analysis of 122 randomized controlled trials, both acamprosate and naltrexone helped people either quit drinking or cut back substantially.

The study also found benefits in nalmefene and topiramate, two medications that are also prescribed for alcohol dependence. The study appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association.


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