It has been said time and again that there is no magic pill that could completely treat addiction of any kind. Danish pharmaceutical company Lundbeck, however, begs to disagree, as it has purportedly developed a pill specifically designed to treat alcoholism. According to a report by Lizzie Parry for The Daily Mail, the drug nalmefene is being recommended by the United Kingdom’s National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (Nice) for use by heavy drinkers to help curb their addiction.
Drug controls reward mechanism in the brain
Nalmefene, which is being offered as a once-a-day tablet, is said to have the ability of controlling the reward mechanism in the brain and, thus, reduce the craving for alcohol. According to a draft guidance by Nice, nalmefene should be an option for heavy drinkers, but not for those who need to get immediate alcohol detoxification. Experts also recommend prescribing the drug for heavy drinkers who have already started giving up the bottle on their way to recovery.
This sounds promising, but until Nice publishes its final guidance on nalmefene, which is expected later this year, people still need to be a bit careful about using this drug. After all, no one yet knows what the side effects would be, or if the drug is safe enough for long-term use.
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