Baclofen as relapse prevention in the treatment of gamma-hydroxybutyrate dependence: a case series
Number of pages
SourceJournal of Clinical Psychopharmacology, 35, 3, (2015), pp. 313-318
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ BSI KLP
Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology
SubjectExperimental Psychopathology and Treatment
In the last decade, gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) abuse and dependence have increased. It has been reported that GHB dependence has a high rate of relapse, serious complications of intoxication, and a potentially life-threatening withdrawal syndrome. Nevertheless, in clinical practice, there is no known medical treatment to support GHB relapse prevention. We describe a case series of patients who were supported through an off-label treatment with baclofen to avoid a relapse into GHB abuse, for a period of 12 weeks. Nine of 11 patients did not relapse while taking a dose ranging from 30 to 60 mg per day, one patient relapsed after 5 weeks, and one stopped after 7 weeks. Baclofen was well tolerated; patients reported mild side effects such as fatigue, nausea, dry mouth, excessive sweating, and depressive feelings. Although systematic evidence is still lacking, our practice-based experience suggests that treatment with baclofen to assist abstinence might be effective in patients with GHB dependence. Further systematic controlled studies are necessary to establish the exact efficacy and safety of baclofen as relapse prevention for GHB-dependent patients.
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