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Pharmacological Treatment for Alcoholism

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT00382642
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : September 29, 2006
Last Update Posted : February 7, 2012
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Bankole Johnson, University of Virginia

Brief Summary:
The purpose of this study is to learn whether ondansetron is safe and effective in the treatment of alcohol dependence. We also want to learn whether the study drug ondansetron combined with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy will assist researchers to determine whether having a certain gene is responsible for determining how a person benefits or does not benefit from the use of ondansetron for alcohol dependence.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Alcohol Dependence Drug: Ondansetron + Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Drug: Placebo + Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Phase 3

Detailed Description:
This is a 13 week outpatient clinical trial. Participants will either receive ondansetron or placebo and behavioral therapy. There is a 1, 2, and 3 month post-study follow up visit.Screening for this study is initially done over the telephone and takes 15-20 minutes. If participants are eligible after the initial screen, they will be invited to come in for a more thorough in house screen which takes about 5 to 6 hours. The screening will include a physical exam, review of medical, alcohol and drug histories and blood collection. If participants are found to be eligible after the in house screen, they will be enrolled in the 13 week outpatient clinical trial.

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 283 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Quadruple (Participant, Care Provider, Investigator, Outcomes Assessor)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Pharmacological Treatment for Alcoholism
Study Start Date : June 2006
Actual Primary Completion Date : March 2009
Actual Study Completion Date : December 2009

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

Arm Intervention/treatment
Experimental: Ondansetron
Arm 1 = Ondansetron 4 mcg/kg b.i.d.+ Cognitive behavioral therapy
Drug: Ondansetron + Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
13 week outpatient trial
Other Name: Zofran

Placebo Comparator: Placebo
Arm 2 = Placebo + Cognitive behavioral therapy
Drug: Placebo + Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
13 week outpatient trial
Other Name: Sugar Pill

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Self-reported measure of alcohol consumption (Drinks per Day, Drinks per Drinking Day, Percent Days Abstinent), CDT (ondansetron level), GGT, BAC [ Time Frame: Throughout the study ]

Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. Pill count, CIWA-Ar, OCDS, Age of onset, SFQ, AASE, ADBS, CGI, TCI, MAC, attendace at psychosocial services [ Time Frame: Throughout the study ]
    medication compliance, withdrawal, alcohol craving, social functioning and motivation

Information from the National Library of Medicine

Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contacts provided below. For general information, Learn About Clinical Studies.

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Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years and older   (Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Males and females who have given written informed consent.
  • Ages 18 years and above and, must weigh at least 40 Kg and no more than 140 Kg
  • Good physical health as determined by a complete physical examination, an EKG within normal limits, and laboratory screening tests within acceptable parameters.
  • Audit score equal or more than 8
  • Current DSM-IV diagnosis of alcohol dependence
  • Currently drinking equal or more than 14 alcohol units/week for women and equal or more than 21 alcohol units/week for men in the last 30 days.
  • Provide evidence of stable residence in the last month prior to enrollment in the study, and have no plans to move in the next three months.
  • The pregnancy test for females at intake must be negative. Additionally, women of childbearing potential must be using an acceptable form of contraception. These include: oral contraceptives, hormonal (levonorgestrel) or surgical implants, or barrier plus spermicide.
  • Literate in English and able to read, understand, and complete the ratings scales and questionnaires accurately, follow instructions, and make use of the behavioral treatments.
  • Answer an advertisement in the newspaper/radio/television, and express a wish to stop drinking.
  • Willingness to participate in behavioral treatments for alcoholism.

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Subjects who are legally mandated to participate in an alcohol treatment program.
  • Any current axis I DSM IV psychiatric disorder other than alcohol or nicotine dependence
  • Elevation of liver enzymes - (SGOT), serum glutamic pyruvic transaminase (SGPT), blood urea nitrogen (BUN), or lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) greater than four times the normal range, or clinically significant elevated direct bilirubin as deemed by the principal investigator.
  • Severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms which in the physicians opinion requires inpatient treatment.
  • Serious medical co-morbidity requiring medical intervention or close supervision, or any condition, which can interfere with the receipt of ondansetron.
  • Severe or life-threatening adverse reactions to ondansetron or similar medication either in the past or during this clinical trial.
  • Female patients who are pregnant, lactating, or not adhering to an acceptable form of contraception at any time during the study.
  • Received inpatient or outpatient treatment for alcohol dependence within the last 30 days (support groups such as AA are not exclusionary).
  • Compelled to participate in an alcohol treatment program to maintain their liberty.
  • Members of the same household.
  • Treated with any medications having a potential effect on alcohol consumption and related behaviors, or mood. These include: opiate antagonist (e.g. naltrexone), glutamate antagonists (e.g., acamprosate), serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (e.g. fluoxetine), serotonin antagonists (e.g. ritanserin or buspirone), other antidepressants (e.g. tricyclic antidepressants or monoamine oxidase inhibitors), dopamine antagonists (e.g. haloperidol), calcium channel antagonists (e.g. isradipine), or compounds with actions similar to disulfiram (antabuse) or nicotine.
  • Before double-blind randomization, urine must be free of opiates, cocaine, amphetamines, barbiturates, benzodiazepines, prescription and non-prescription drugs.

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT00382642

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United States, Virginia
UVA Center for Addiction Research and Education
Charlottesville, Virginia, United States, 22911
Sponsors and Collaborators
Bankole Johnson
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
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Principal Investigator: Bankole Johnson, M.D., Ph.D. University of Virginia
Publications automatically indexed to this study by Identifier (NCT Number):
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Responsible Party: Bankole Johnson, Chair of Psychiatry and NB Sciences, University of Virginia Identifier: NCT00382642    
Other Study ID Numbers: R01AA010522-11 ( U.S. NIH Grant/Contract )
R01AA010522 ( U.S. NIH Grant/Contract )
First Posted: September 29, 2006    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: February 7, 2012
Last Verified: February 2012
Keywords provided by Bankole Johnson, University of Virginia:
alcoholism, alcohol disorder, drinking,alcohol
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Alcohol-Related Disorders
Substance-Related Disorders
Chemically-Induced Disorders
Mental Disorders
Autonomic Agents
Peripheral Nervous System Agents
Physiological Effects of Drugs
Gastrointestinal Agents
Dermatologic Agents
Serotonin Antagonists
Serotonin Agents
Neurotransmitter Agents
Molecular Mechanisms of Pharmacological Action
Antipsychotic Agents
Tranquilizing Agents
Central Nervous System Depressants
Psychotropic Drugs
Anti-Anxiety Agents