Optimal pharmacotherapy of the alcohol withdrawal syndrome (AWS) in outpatient settings is still a matter of discussion. The aim of this evaluation was to examine the efficacy and tolerability of a combination of levetiracetam and tiapride for outpatient alcohol detoxification.
This was an open-label evaluation. After screening eligibility for outpatient detoxification, 9 alcohol-dependent patients received levetiracetam and tiapride in a flexible dosage regimen up to 2500 and 300 mg/d, respectively, for a maximum of 7 days. Severity of alcohol withdrawal was assessed daily using the Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome Scale (AWSS).
All patients completed the treatment successfully. The mean initial doses of levetiracetam and tiapride were 2166.7 and 300 mg/d, respectively. AWS as indicated by the AWSS score decreased clearly over 5 days. The combination of levetiracetam and tiapride was well tolerated. Neither treatment discontinuations because of side effects of the medication nor serious medical complications were observed during the detoxification.
The results of this evaluation provide first evidence that the combination of levetiracetam and tiapride might be an effective and safe treatment option for mild to moderate AWS in outpatient settings. Further randomized controlled trials are warranted to confirm these preliminary results.
From the Department of Psychiatry (CAM, RB, HMH, KV, AF, AH, JH), Charité Campus Mitte, Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Berlin; and Department of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Addiction Medicine (MS), Kliniken Essen-Mitte, Essen, Germany.
Received for publication February 27, 2010; accepted June 1, 2010.
Send correspondence and reprint requests to Christian A. Müller, MD, Department of Psychiatry, Charité Campus Mitte, Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Charitéplatz 1, 10117 Berlin, Germany. e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org