The efficacy and biobehavioural basis of baclofen in the treatment of alcoholic liver disease (BacALD): Study protocol for a randomised controlled trial

K. C. Morley*, S. Leung, A. Baillie, P. S. Haber

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    23 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Background: Effective treatments for alcohol use disorders in those with significant liver disease are critically lacking. The primary aim of the current study is to explore the effectiveness and biobehavioural basis of low and high dose baclofen in improving treatment outcomes for alcohol dependence in people with alcoholic liver disease (The BacALD study). Methods: This double-blind, placebo-controlled study will randomize 180 participants to a 12-week regime of either baclofen (30. mg/day baclofen, 75. mg/day baclofen) or placebo. Participants must meet the ICD-10 criteria for alcohol dependence in addition to alcoholic liver disease (ALD) defined as the presence of symptoms and/or signs referable to liver disease or its complications with or without cirrhosis. Primary outcome measures will include total abstinence duration, and time to lapse and relapse. Furthermore, 60 of the ALD patients enrolled in the trial will also participate in a pharmacokinetic and cue-reactivity component, along with an additional 30 healthy volunteers matched for age and gender randomised to a 1. week regime of either 30. mg/day baclofen or 75. mg/day baclofen. At week 1, plasma levels of baclofen and β-p-chlorophenol-γ-hydroxybutric acid will be measured at 0, 1 and 4. h following baclofen administration and psychophysiological responses to alcohol-associated stimuli will be assessed in a cue reactivity paradigm. Recruitment commenced in late March 2013. Conclusions: This trial will demonstrate the efficacy and safety of two doses of baclofen in patients with alcoholic liver disease and will explore the biobehavioural mechanisms of the treatment effect.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)348-355
    Number of pages8
    JournalContemporary Clinical Trials
    Volume36
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 2013

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