The efficacy of baclofen in alcohol dependence
background In the past years numerous studies have investigated the efficacy of baclofen for alcohol dependence. After publication of several reviews a number of new randomized controlled trials have been published. Two recent meta-analyses, based on largely the same studies, reported contrary results. One meta-analysis showed a positive effect on time to relapse and abstinence at endpoint. The other meta-analysis did not show an effect on the primary outcome measures.
aim To clarify the clinical relevance of the effect of baclofen on alcohol use in patients with a disorder in the use of alcohol, in the light of the positive and the negative meta-analysis.
method A systematic literature search using Medline, Embase and PsycINFO (Prisma guideline).
results We found 16 randomized controlled trials in which the effect of baclofen was studied. Seven of them showed a significant positive effect of baclofen on (one or more of the) primary outcome measures.