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Physiol Behav. 2008 Sep 3;95(1-2):267-70. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2008.05.020. Epub 2008 Jun 6.

Acamprosate attenuates the handling induced convulsions during alcohol withdrawal in Swiss Webster mice.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40506, USA.


In the present study, we examined the effects of acamprosate for its ability to reduce handling induced convulsions (HICs) during alcohol withdrawal. Diazepam was used as a positive control. Swiss Webster male mice received three daily IP injections of alcohol (2.5 g/kg) or alcohol (2.5 g/kg)+methylpyrazole (4-MP) (9 mg/kg). (4-MP, being an alcohol dehydrogenase inhibitor slows down the breakdown of alcohol. 4-MP in combination with alcohol exhibits a dramatic increase in blood alcohol level compared to alcohol alone). Ten hours following the last alcohol injection, the mice were picked up by the tail and examined for their seizure susceptibility (HICs). Diazepam, a benzodiazepine known to reduce seizures during alcohol withdrawal, significantly reduced these HICs at doses of 0.25, 0.5 and 1 mg/kg (p's<0.001). Acamprosate, an anti-relapse compound used clinically in newly abstinent alcoholics, also reduced these HICs at doses of 100, 200 and 300 mg/kg (p's<0.05). This study supports the use of acamprosate during periods of alcohol withdrawal as well as during abstinence.

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