(1/2131) Effect of alcohol abstinence on blood pressure: assessment by 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure monitoring.

Several studies have shown that cessation of alcohol drinking reduces blood pressure (BP). However, attempts to reproduce these findings by ambulatory BP monitoring (ABPM) have shown inconsistent results. The aim of the present study was to assess the effect of 1 month of proven abstinence from alcohol on the 24-hour BP profile in heavy alcohol drinkers. Forty-two men who were heavy drinkers (>100 g of pure ethanol per day) were consecutively admitted to a general ward for voluntary alcohol detoxification. On the day of admission, they received a total dose of 2 g/kg of ethanol diluted in orange juice in 5 divided doses, and a 24-hour ABPM was performed. A new 24-hour BP monitoring in the same environmental conditions was performed after 1 month of proven alcohol abstinence while the subjects were receiving the same amount of fluid but without the addition of alcohol. After 1 month of proven alcohol abstinence, BP and heart rate (HR) significantly decreased. The reduction was 7.2 mm Hg for 24-hour systolic BP (SBP) (95% CI, 4.5 to 9.9), 6.6 mm Hg for 24-hour diastolic BP (DBP) (95% CI, 4.2 to 9.0), and 7.9 bpm for HR (95% CI, 5.1 to 10.7). The proportion of alcoholic patients considered hypertensive on the basis of 24-hour BP criteria (daytime SBP >/=135 mm Hg or daytime DBP >/=85 mm Hg) fell from 42% during alcohol drinking to 12% after 1 month of complete abstinence. Abstinence did not modify either the long-term BP variability, assessed by SD of 24-hour BP, or its circadian profile. We conclude that abstinence in heavy alcohol drinkers significantly reduces BP assessed by 24-hour ABPM and that this reduction is clinically relevant. These results show that heavy alcohol consumption has an important effect on BP, and thus cessation of alcohol consumption must be recommended as a priority for hypertensive alcohol drinkers.  (+info)

(2/2131) A controlled trial of sustained-release bupropion, a nicotine patch, or both for smoking cessation.

BACKGROUND AND METHODS: Use of nicotine-replacement therapies and the antidepressant bupropion helps people stop smoking. We conducted a double-blind, placebo-controlled comparison of sustained-release bupropion (244 subjects), a nicotine patch (244 subjects), bupropion and a nicotine patch (245 subjects), and placebo (160 subjects) for smoking cessation. Smokers with clinical depression were excluded. Treatment consisted of nine weeks of bupropion (150 mg a day for the first three days, and then 150 mg twice daily) or placebo, as well as eight weeks of nicotine-patch therapy (21 mg per day during weeks 2 through 7, 14 mg per day during week 8, and 7 mg per day during week 9) or placebo. The target day for quitting smoking was usually day 8. RESULTS: The abstinence rates at 12 months were 15.6 percent in the placebo group, as compared with 16.4 percent in the nicotine-patch group, 30.3 percent in the bupropion group (P<0.001), and 35.5 percent in the group given bupropion and the nicotine patch (P<0.001). By week 7, subjects in the placebo group had gained an average of 2.1 kg, as compared with a gain of 1.6 kg in the nicotine-patch group, a gain of 1.7 kg in the bupropion group, and a gain of 1.1 kg in the combined-treatment group (P<0.05). Weight gain at seven weeks was significantly less in the combined-treatment group than in the bupropion group and the placebo group (P<0.05 for both comparisons). A total of 311 subjects (34.8 percent) discontinued one or both medications. Seventy-nine subjects stopped treatment because of adverse events: 6 in the placebo group (3.8 percent), 16 in the nicotine-patch group (6.6 percent), 29 in the bupropion group (11.9 percent), and 28 in the combined-treatment group (11.4 percent). The most common adverse events were insomnia and headache. CONCLUSIONS: Treatment with sustained-release bupropion alone or in combination with a nicotine patch resulted in significantly higher long-term rates of smoking cessation than use of either the nicotine patch alone or placebo. Abstinence rates were higher with combination therapy than with bupropion alone, but the difference was not statistically significant.  (+info)

(3/2131) Presynaptic inhibition of GABA(B)-mediated synaptic potentials in the ventral tegmental area during morphine withdrawal.

Opioids increase the firing of dopamine cells in the ventral tegmental area by presynaptic inhibition of GABA release. This report describes an acute presynaptic inhibition of GABAB-mediated IPSPs by mu- and kappa-opioid receptors and the effects of withdrawal from chronic morphine treatment on the release of GABA at this synapse. In slices taken from morphine-treated guinea pigs after washing out the morphine (withdrawn slices), a low concentration of a mu receptor agonist increased, rather than decreased, the amplitude of the GABAB IPSP. In withdrawn slices, after blocking A1-adenosine receptors with 8-cyclopentyl-1, 3-dipropylxantine, mu-opioid receptor activation inhibited the IPSP at all concentrations and increased the maximal inhibition. In addition, during withdrawal, there was a tonic increase in adenosine tone that was further increased by forskolin or D1-dopamine receptor activation, suggesting that metabolism of cAMP was the source of adenosine. The results indicate that during acute morphine withdrawal, there was an upregulation of the basal level of an opioid-sensitive adenylyl cyclase. Inhibition of this basal activity by opioids had two effects. First, a decrease in the formation of cAMP that decreased adenosine tone. This effect predominated at low mu receptor occupancy and increased the amplitude of the IPSP. Higher agonist concentrations inhibited transmitter release by both kinase-dependent and -independent pathways. This study indicates that the consequences of the morphine-induced upregulation of the cAMP cascade on synaptic transmission are dependent on the makeup of receptors and second messenger pathways present on any given terminal.  (+info)

(4/2131) Rapid detoxification of heroin dependence by buprenorphine.

AIM: To evaluate the clinical efficacy of buprenorphine (Bup) in treatment of acute heroin withdrawal. METHODS: Bup was given sublingually daily to 60 cases of heroin addicts in 3 groups: low, medium, and high doses. Withdrawal signs and symptoms of heroin were rated by Clinical Institute Narcotic Assessment. Craving for heroin during detoxification was assessed by Visual Analogue Scale. The side effects of Bup was assessed by Treatment Emergent Symptom Scale. RESULTS: The mean daily consumption of Bup in low, medium, and high group was 2.0, 2.9, and 3.6 mg, respectively. Bup not only suppressed objective signs and withdrawal symptoms for heroin withdrawal, but also reduced the duration for heroin detoxification over 7-8 d. CONCLUSION: Bup is an effective and rapid detoxification agent with fewer side effects for treatment of acute heroin withdrawal.  (+info)

(5/2131) The role of gamma-hydroxybutyric acid in the treatment of alcoholism: from animal to clinical studies.

Since its discovery nearly 40 years ago, gamma-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB) has attracted several waves of scientific interest due to new developments in the knowledge of its mechanisms of action and ideas for its potential use in clinical practice. Its effects have been claimed to treat different psychiatric conditions, but over time its use has become limited to a few specific situations (e.g. sedating patients in non-painful surgical procedures and narcolepsy). New interest in the drug derives from its potential use in the treatment of alcoholism. Recent studies demonstrated a marked effect of the substance in suppressing ethanol (ETOH) withdrawal symptoms and in reducing craving for alcohol, compared to other available drugs. However, GHB has to be given under very careful supervision because of its side-effects, including the risk of abuse and dependence and possible interference with the metabolic pathways of endogenous GHB and ETOH. This short review discusses these and related issues and we hope that it will stimulate further interest in GHB.  (+info)

(6/2131) Correlation between increases in dihydropyridine binding in vivo and behavioural signs of ethanol withdrawal in mice.

Increased ligand binding to dihydropyridine receptors in the central nervous system after chronic ethanol consumption is thought to contribute to the withdrawal syndrome. Previous studies demonstrated such changes when the binding was measured in vitro, which, as the receptors are voltage-sensitive, may not accurately reflect the binding in vivo. In the present study, dihydropyridine binding was measured in vivo in mice, after intravenous administration of the radioligand. The aim was to determine whether there was any correlation between such binding and measurements of behavioural hyperexcitability at different times during the withdrawal phase and after two different methods of alcohol administration. Measurements were made of the binding in vivo of [3H]nitrendipine, at intervals after withdrawal from chronic ethanol administration, and of the severity of withdrawal as measured by response to gentle handling. An increase in the in vivo binding to [3H]nitrendipine was seen after cessation of chronic ethanol consumption by liquid diet. The binding was significantly increased at 4 h, when the behavioural changes were maximal, but not immediately after withdrawal, when the responses to handling were unchanged. By 24 h after cessation of the ethanol treatment, no differences in the binding were found, compared with control values; at this time the withdrawal hyperexcitability had ceased. When alcohol was given chronically by inhalation, the in vivo dihydropyridine binding was increased at 3 h from withdrawal of the ethanol, the time of maximal behavioural hyperexcitability, but no change was seen 30 min after withdrawal, when no changes in the ratings of behaviour were found. There was a significant positive correlation in individual mice between the ratings of handling-induced behaviour at the 3 h interval and the amount of in vivo binding. These data support the hypothesis that the sites labelled by [3H]nitrendipine play an important role in withdrawal hyperexcitability.  (+info)

(7/2131) Ethyl glucuronide--a marker of alcohol consumption and a relapse marker with clinical and forensic implications.

Ethyl glucuronide (EtG) is a non-volatile, water-soluble, direct metabolite of ethanol that can be detected in body fluids and hair. We investigated urine and serum samples from three patient groups: (1) 33 in-patients in acute alcohol withdrawal; (2) 30 detoxified in-patients (treated for at least 4 weeks) from a 'motivation station'; and (3) 43 neuro-rehabilitation patients (non-alcoholics; most of them suffering from stroke, traumatic brain injury, Parkinson's disease etc.) using gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) with deuterium-labelled EtG as the internal standard and additionally in the second group of patients using liquid chromatography (LC/MS-MS). We found no correlation between the concentration of EtG in urine at hospitalization and the blood-ethanol concentration (r = 0.17), the time frame of detection (r = 0.5) or the total amount of clomethiazole required for the treatment of withdrawal symptoms (r = 0.28). In four out of 30 in-patients from the 'motivation station'--where neither clinical impression nor routine laboratory findings gave indications of relapse--concentrations of EtG in urine ranged between 4.2 and 196.6 mg/l. EtG concentrations in urine of between 2.89 and 23.49 mg/l were found in seven out of 43 neuro-rehabilitation patients using GC/MS. The GC/MS and the LC/MS-MS results showed a correlation of 0.98 with Pearson's correlation test and 1.0 with Spearman's correlation test. We suggest that EtG is a marker of alcohol consumption that can be detected for an extended time period after the complete elimination of alcohol from the body. When used as a relapse marker with a specific time frame of detection intermediate between short- and long-term markers, EtG fills a clinically as well as forensically important gap. Its specificity and sensitivity exceed those of all other known ethanol markers.  (+info)

(8/2131) Necessary role for ventral tegmental area adenylate cyclase and protein kinase A in induction of behavioral sensitization to intraventral tegmental area amphetamine.

In the present study, we investigated the effects of selective activation or inhibition of ventral tegmental area (VTA) adenylate cyclase (AC) and protein kinase A (PKA) on long-term sensitization induced by repeated intra-VTA or peripheral amphetamine (AMPH). Selective inhibition of AC by SQ 22,536 (9-(tetrahydro-2-furanyl)-9H-purin-6-amine; 100 nmol/side bilateral into VTA) had no effect on acute basal locomotion but attenuated the locomotor stimulation induced by acute i.p. AMPH (1.5 mg/kg). Coinjection of SQ 22,536 (100 nmol/side) fully blocked the sensitization induced by repeated intra-VTA AMPH (15 nmol/side) but had no detectable effect on the sensitization induced by repeated i. p. AMPH. Persistent activation of AC by intra-VTA cholera toxin (500 ng/side) modestly increased acute locomotion and induced a robust sensitization to i.p. AMPH challenge 10 days after the last of three repeated VTA microinjections. Selective inhibition of PKA by Rp-adenosine-3',5'-cyclic monophosphothioate triethylamine (Rp-cAMPS; 25 nmol/side) had no effect on acute basal or AMPH-stimulated locomotion. Coinjection of Rp-cAMPS (25 nmol/side) fully blocked the sensitization induced by repeated intra-VTA AMPH but had no effect on sensitization induced by repeated i.p. AMPH. Intra-VTA microinjection of the selective PKA activator Sp-adenosine-3',5'-cyclic monophosphothioate triethylamine (Sp-cAMPS; 25-100 nmol/side) dose-dependently stimulated acute locomotion and exerted synergistic effects on locomotor activity when coinfused into the VTA with AMPH but had no detectable effect on acute i.p. AMPH-induced locomotion. Repeated intra-VTA Sp-cAMPS did not induce sensitization to AMPH challenge but potentiated the sensitization induced by repeated i.p. AMPH. These results suggest that VTA cAMP signal transduction is necessary for the induction of persistent sensitization to intra-VTA amphetamine and that peripheral and intra-VTA AMPH may not induce behavioral sensitization by identical mechanisms.  (+info)