Semin Liver Dis 2022; 42(02): 138-150
DOI: 10.1055/a-1798-2872
Review Article

Treating Alcohol Use Disorder in Patients with Alcohol-Associated Liver Disease: Controversies in Pharmacological Therapy

Claudia Tarli*
1   Internal Medicine and Alcohol Related Disease Unit, Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences, Columbus-Gemelli Hospital, Fondazione Policlinico Universitario A. Gemelli IRCCS, Catholic University of Rome, Rome, Italy
,
Antonio Mirijello*
2   Internal Medicine Unit, Department of Medical Sciences, IRCCS Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza, San Giovanni Rotondo, Italy
,
Giovanni Addolorato
1   Internal Medicine and Alcohol Related Disease Unit, Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences, Columbus-Gemelli Hospital, Fondazione Policlinico Universitario A. Gemelli IRCCS, Catholic University of Rome, Rome, Italy
3   CEMAD Digestive Disease Center, Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences, Hepatology and Gastroenterology Unit, Catholic University of Rome, l.go Gemelli, Rome, Italy
4   Internal Medicine Unit, Department of Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology, Columbus-Gemelli Hospital, Fondazione Policlinico Universitario A.Gemelli IRCCS, Rome, Italy
› Author Affiliations


Abstract

Alcohol use disorder (AUD) is one of the main causes of global death and disability. The liver represents the main target of alcohol damage, and alcohol-associated liver disease (ALD) represents the first cause of liver cirrhosis in Western countries. Alcohol abstinence is the main goal of treatment in AUD patients with ALD, as treatments for ALD are less effective when drinking continues. Moreover, the persistence of alcohol consumption is associated with higher mortality, increased need for liver transplantation, and graft loss. The most effective treatment for AUD is the combination of psychosocial interventions, pharmacological therapy, and medical management. However, the effectiveness of these treatments in patients with ALD is doubtful even because AUD patients with ALD are usually excluded from pharmacological trials due to concerns on liver safety. This narrative review will discuss the treatment options for AUD-ALD patients focusing on controversies in pharmacological therapy.

* Both authors contributed equally to all aspects of this manuscript and are co-first authors.




Publication History

Accepted Manuscript online:
15 March 2022

Article published online:
23 June 2022

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