Doctors in England and Wales are now able to make use of a tablet to help treat people with alcohol addiction.
The drug, known as Selincro (nalmefene), was recommended as an option to treat alcohol dependence in draft guidance published by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), which provides healthcare guidelines for the NHS.
The recommendation covers the use of Selincro in people who are heavy drinkers but do not require immediate detoxification.
The drug is to be taken once per day to reduce the craving for alcohol.
NICE's Prof Carole Longson said the drug can be an important complement to current treatments for the 600,000 who are dependent on alcohol in the UK.
Selincro was approved in Europe in March last year after demonstrating in trials a 40 per cent reduction on total alcohol consumption within the first month. This increased to 60 per cent following six months of treatment with Selincro – around one bottle of wine per day.
It doesn’t make one ill from drinking (unlike Antabuse, the drug given to treat alcoholics), just dulls the need.
Made by Danish pharma company Lundbeck, it is an ‘opioid receptor antagonist’ — it works on the reward mechanism in the brain to take away the pleasurable effects of alcohol.
Guidelines for Selincro makes it necessary to sign up for ‘psychosocial counselling’ with the local substance misuse service.
Source: PMLive, DailyMail