Alcohol Use Disorder – Evidence Based Recommendations for Diagnosis and Pharmacotherapy
Alcohol use remains one of the top 10 global risk factors for illness and disease. It affects males more than females and is responsible for around 5.9% of deaths worldwide (7.6% of men, 4.0% of women). Other health conditions associated with alcohol-related deaths include cardiovascular disease and diabetes (33.4%), injuries (17.1%), gastrointestinal illnesses (16.2%) and cancers (12.5%). [Rehm and Imtiaz 2016], [WHO 2018]
Alcohol use disorder is the most common cause of death in men under 50, with heavy drinking and alcohol dependence causing the most significant burdens of harm. [Nutt, 2019]
In 2018, Kranzler and Soyka did a multi-year literature search to determine which pharmacological therapies were most used and which were most effective at treating alcohol use disorder. Meta-analyses were prioritised, and randomised controlled trials (RCTs) were selected where data on medication effects were poor or absent. A total of 81 relevant articles were reviewed. This article summarises the evidence along with current recommendations on pharmacotherapy in AUD. [Kranzler and Soyka, 2018]
We have previously covered the neurobiology of AUD.
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