Brief Berlin Baclofen Summary- hot off the press!

Berlin, September 3rd 2016. Three large new baclofen RCTs were presented yesterday afternoon at a session of the World Congress for Alcohol and Alcoholism. Also presented was the data from the already published BACLAD study.
I was there in the stuffy, packed lecture room in Berlin’s University of Technology where the conference was held. This was a long awaited day for me as a baclofen prescriber.
Overall it looks from the outside like a mixed bag of results.
The Bacloville study’s raw result was 56.8% for baclofen vs 36.5% for placebo, a 20% improvement in a 320 patient cohort over 12 months. The BACLAD study from 2015 had showed a 44% difference over a 3 month trial period but in a small group of 43 patients.
The Alpadir and Dutch studies showed no difference overall between baclofen and placebo in their study groups. But it was obvious at the presentation that both studies were deeply flawed and were unlikely to show any differences.
(The three newly presented studies have not yet been published so the links are to the trial registry only.)
But all studies showed that baclofen was safe to use in alcoholism and that’s really important for getting baclofen into wider use.
They sound like pretty lukewarm results but that’s not the case. It takes quite a lot of explaining of the detail of each trial to understand why. So I’m writing up a more detailed analysis for the « baclophiles » amongst you and will post it in the next few days.
Here’s a link to the only english newspaper article on the subject which I can find so far.
The french press went crazy last night with the news. Not surprising given the large number of patients being treated there, estimated at around 100,000.

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