Broadening the range of available medications for alcohol-use disorder (AUD) will give people more options and a better chance at finding recovery. Gabapentin is one such promising drug and a trial with a new version of the drug will soon be underway. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) is planning a large clinical trial of gabapentin enacarbil, an extended-release formulation of the generic drug gabapentin. A 2013 study showed that gabapentin helped increase abstinence rates in 150 men with abnormal alcohol use patterns. The new NIAAA study, scheduled to begin in 2015, will study the effects of gabapentin enacarbil in a larger sample size and longer time frame than the 2013 study.
Update 11/29/15: The NIAAA clinical trial of extended-release gabapentin is now underway. The goal of the Phase II trial is to determine whether gabapentin enacarbil is effective in the treatment of problems with alcohol. The NIAAA is looking to enroll 346 patients with AUD at 10 sites across the United States.