Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Muscle Relaxant Cures Alcoholism?

French cardiologist Dr. Olivier Ameisen says he has found the cure to his own alcoholism in the muscle relaxant pill baclofen.

The pill (brand names: Lioresal, Kemstro) is normally used to treat muscular spasticity. According to ABC News, Ameisen says he started taking baclofen after he read about a cocain addict who had dropped his addiction after being prescribed the pill for muscle problems.

Ameisen found that his 10-year alcoholism, too, was curbed after taking the pill.

"I detested the taste of alcohol, but I needed its effects to exist in society," he has written about his experience.

He began taking baclofen in small doses in March 2002, and after increasing his dosage, discovered that he no longer desired alcohol.

Other studies have yielded results ranging from inconclusive to highly suggestive, but doctors maintain it is not an absolute cure.

One possibility is the relaxant simply fills the needs an addict had previously filled with their drug of choice, and Ameisen is only switching from alcohol to pharmaceuticals, but this possibility is not addressed in news stories. Readers are welcome to leave their own insights on this.

Dr. Ameisen has published his story in a book titled "Le Dernier Verre" ("The Last Glass"), which is currently a best-seller in France. It is slated for a 2009 release in the U.S. under the title "The End of My Addiction."

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