Introduction Alcohol induced liver disease is the predominant cause of alcohol-related mortality in the UK. Therefore abstinence-based treatments are essential. Upto 70% of patients receiving alcohol treatment relapse within 6 months,1 NICE attribute much of this failure of treatment to underutilisation of pharmacotherapy and recommend this be made available.2 However, current licensed pharmacotherapies are contraindicated for patients with ALD. Baclofen has shown efficacy in the promotion of abstinence in patients with severe alcohol dependence3,4 including those with ALD,5 without exhibiting any of the complications or side effects elicited by current pharmacotherapies. Therefore the primary aim of this study was to measure the effectiveness of Baclofen in maintaining abstinence in this difficult to treat group.
Methods An observational prospective clinical audit was performed. Patients with liver disease and concomitant alcohol use were commenced on Baclofen at 10 mg three times daily (TDS), and titrated according to tolerability and response up to 30 mg TDS. Primary outcome measures were severity of physical dependence, as determined by SADQ score, and weekly alcohol consumption. These were compared at baseline, and 6 months. Setting Acute Hospital Trust
Participants 149 patients referred to Hepatology for investigation of abnormal liver function and heavy drinking
Results Of the 149 patients commenced on Baclofen 100 (67.1%) remained engaged in treatment for 6 months. There was a significant reduction in alcohol consumption (P < 0.0001 95% CI for difference 18 to 20) with 81 of the 149 patients (54.3%) maintaining total abstinence, 20 (13.4%) continued to drink and 48 (32.2%) were lost to follow-up and assumed to have returned to drinking. There was a significant reduction in the presence of physical dependence (c2 = 77.4 P < 0.0001) as categorised by SADQ, and a non-significant improvement of liver biochemistry.
Conclusion Baclofen has a positive impact on alcohol consumption in this very difficult to treat, high risk patient group. A RCT is needed to confirm the benefit of baclofen in this patient group.
Raistrick, D. 2006, NTA
NICE, Alcohol Use Disorders: CG115, 2011
Addolorato, G. 2012
Muzyk, A. 2012
Leggio, L. 2010
Disclosure of Interest None Declared.
Statistics from Altmetric.com
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.