What is it about?

There has been evidence suggesting some ASMs may be helpful in reducing craving for alcohol, therefore if certain ASMs were both effective and tolerable in AWS treatment and in relapse prevention there would be no need to change medication at different stages of alcohol use disorder treatment, potentially leading to improved medication adherence, and better treatment outcomes.

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Why is it important?

This is the most up to date review, the first meta-analyses to discuss doses of ASMs and the to use the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation (GRADE) to evaluate the strength of evidence.


We report a large-scale meta-analyses with data from 24 studies and 2223 participants, and among the main findings is that there was insufficient evidence to support general first line clinical use of any ASM in AWS treatment. Further studies on the effectiveness and tolerability of ASMs should consider recruiting people with more severe AWS and should prioritise studies of zonisamide, lamotrigine, and levetiracetam.

Jou-Yin Lai
Taipei City Psychiatric Center

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: The effectiveness and tolerability of anti‐seizure medication in alcohol withdrawal syndrome: a systematic review, meta‐analysis and GRADE of the evidence, Addiction, May 2021, Wiley, DOI: 10.1111/add.15510.
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