Sobering drug

Published: Monday 15 May 1995

The US Food and Drug Agency recently approved Naltrexone -- a medicine to cure alcoholism. The effectiveness of the drug was studied at the University of Pennsylvania and Yale University, USA.

Naltrexone reduces alcohol-induced euphoria brought about by the body's endorphins and suppresses the craving to drink more. By mimicking the shape but not the action of endorphins, Naltroxene blocks the binding of these neurotransmitters to their pleasure receptors.

The anti-alcohol addiction Antabuse, developed in 1948, had unpleasant side-effects like nausea and vomiting. Naltroxene is altogether gentler and persuasive.

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