The pill , a drug called nalmefene (Revex) makes alcoholics want to drink less. Although still undergoing clinical trials, it is considered a breakthrough because it’s the first pill that is aimed at reducing alcohol consumption. Now nalmefenes can potentially not only reduce alcohol dependence but has also been used to treat other addictive problems like gambling and shopping. The drug is thought to work by blocking mechanisms in the brain that give alcoholics enjoyment from drink and so helps them fight the urge to drink too much. It only needs to be taken when people were going out where they might be tempted to drink alcohol.
Alcoholics taking the drug and having counselling more than halved the amount of alcohol they drank per day and binged on fewer days. The findings were presented at the European Psychiatric Association (EPA) congress in Prague. In one six-month trial alone, 604 patients in five European countries, reduced their alcohol consumption from 84g to 30g per day – the equivalent of a bottle of wine down to one large glass. The drug, developed by Lundbeck pharmaceutical company, called nalmefene, is not licensed yet and is currently undergoing clinical trials.