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Eur Psychiatry. 2006 Dec;21(8):570-3.

Quetiapine in relapse prevention in alcoholics suffering from craving and affective symptoms: a case series.

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  • 1Department of Addictive Behavior and Addiction Medicine, Central Institute of Mental Health, University of Heidelberg, J 5, D-68159 Mannheim, Germany. b.croissant@klksig.de



Quetiapine is a novel antipsychotic, which is efficacious in the treatment of positive and negative symptoms in schizophrenia. Research has shown that atypical antipsychotic also reduce the craving and consumption for stimulants and alcohol. Due to Quetiapine's particulars and the promising receptor profile concerning addiction medicine, we set out to examine the tolerability and efficacy concerning relapse prevention of withdrawn alcoholics suffering from craving and affective symptoms.


Our case observations attempted to evaluate nine alcoholics after withdrawal suffering from persisting craving, sleep disorder, excitement, depressive symptoms or anxiety symptoms. The patients were treated with quetiapine as relapse prevention and we followed them up in our outpatient clinic.


Eight out of nine patients were abstinent under quetiapine over a period of 2-7 months. One of these patients relapsed after he stopped taking the preparation at his own initiative after 10 weeks. The ninth patient stopped taking the preparation immediately because of swollen nasal mucosae. All target symptoms disappeared in the patients after an average of (mean+/-S.D.) 24.5+/-18.1 days. The overall tolerability was considered to be very good; however, initial sleepiness appeared in four patients.


Although uncontrolled case observations can only be interpreted with caution quetiapine seems to deserve further investigation and may hold the potential for preventing alcohol relapse in alcoholics suffering from additional above-mentioned symptoms.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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