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Indian J Psychiatry. 1996 Jul;38(3):182-9.

Effect of fluoxetine and bromocriptine on craving occurring during withdrawal from alcohol.

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  • 1Sudipto Chatterjee M.D., Senior Resident, Department of Psychiatry, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bangalore - 560 029.


Craving is an integral element in the understanding of alcohol dependence. Recent human and animal research implicates the serotonergic and dopaminergic systems in the mediation of excessive alcohol consumption. In this study, a cue-based approach was used to qualify and quantify craving occurring during acute withdrawal from alcohol. Fifty alcoholics were given either placebo, bromocriptine or fluoxetine in a randomised double-blind fashion and craving was sequentially measured over the next 15 days. Both fluoxetine and bromocriptine significantly attenuated total craving scores without similarly affecting withdrawal symptoms. The results suggest the importance of neurotransmitters in mediating craving. The significance of these data in the light of various behavioural and neurochemical models have been discussed.

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