BACKGROUND The aim was to investigate the effect of tiapride (100 mg three times a day for at least one month) on outcome following detoxification.
METHOD The setting was a tertiary referral centre. The study design was randomised, double-blind, and placebo-controlled. One hundred routinely admitted alcohol-dependent patients were entered, and 54 completed the trial. Outcome was assessed by considering drinking status at three months and six months follow-up, and by comparing psychological status at intake and follow-up using the Crown-Crisp Experiential index, the Litman Self-esteem scale and a Satisfaction with Life Situations scale. We also compared performance over the six months before admission with the three and six months of follow-up on measures of health, social and drinking variables.
RESULTS Tiapride proved better (usually at statistically highly significant levels) than placebo at promoting: abstinence, self-esteem, and satisfaction with life situations; and at reducing: alcohol consumption, use of health service resources, and levels of neuroticism.
CONCLUSIONS Tiapride merits serious consideration in the longer-term treatment of alcoholic patients.