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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

News Release - A New Approach to Curb College-Age Binge Drinking?

Ongoing UVA Clinical Trial Testing Medication in 18- to 25-Year Olds

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va., October 20, 2008 - A team of University of Virginia Health System addiction researchers is leading a first-of-its-kind study testing a medication called ondansetron to treat severe or binge drinking among 18- to 25-year olds, a group at higher risk for developing drinking problems.

The clinical trial, funded by a $3.2 million grant from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), is now being offered to qualifying young adults through the UVA Center for Addiction Research and Education (CARE) in both Charlottesville and Richmond, Va.

Through this innovative study, researchers are trying to identify whether individuals with a certain type of genetic makeup respond best to the medication ondansetron or a placebo. Ondansetron, also known as Zofran, is typically used to prevent nausea and vomiting following surgery or chemotherapy. It works by blocking the hormone serotonin, which triggers nausea and vomiting. In previous studies, however, ondansetron has been found to have an important pharmacogenetic effect on alcohol craving.

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