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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6(6), 1917-1929; doi:10.3390/ijerph6061917

Gamma Hydroxybutyric Acid (GHB) for the Treatment of Alcohol Dependence: A Review

Department of Internal Medicine, SS Annunziata Hospital, Cento (Ferrara), Italy
-“G. Fontana” Centre for the Study and Multidisciplinary Treatment of Alcohol Addiction, Department of Clinical Medicine, University of Bologna, Italy
Vincent P. Dole Dual Diagnosis Unit, Santa Chiara University Hospital, Department of Psychiatry, NPB, University of Pisa, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 15 May 2009 / Accepted: 21 June 2009 / Published: 24 June 2009
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alcohol and Public Health)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [248 KB, uploaded 19 June 2014]   |  


Gamma-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB) is a short-chain fatty acid structurally similar to the inhibitory neurotransmitter γ-aminobutyric acid. Clinical trials have demonstrated that 50-100 mg/kg of GHB fractioned into three or six daily doses is able to suppress alcohol withdrawal symptoms and facilitates the maintenance of abstinence from alcohol. These studies have also shown that GHB craving episodes are a very limited phenomenon (about 10-15%). Thus, physicians with access should consider the clinical efficacy of GHB as a valid pharmacological tool for the treatment of alcohol addiction. View Full-Text
Keywords: gamma-hydroxybutyric acid; alcohol withdrawal syndrome; anti-craving drug gamma-hydroxybutyric acid; alcohol withdrawal syndrome; anti-craving drug

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Caputo, F.; Vignoli, T.; Maremmani, I.; Bernardi, M.; Zoli, G. Gamma Hydroxybutyric Acid (GHB) for the Treatment of Alcohol Dependence: A Review. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6, 1917-1929.

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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health EISSN 1660-4601 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
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