BACKGROUND Alcohol use disorder has a detrimental impact on global health and new treatment targets are needed. Preclinical studies show attenuating effects of glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) agonists on addiction-related behaviors in rodents and nonhuman primates. Some trials have shown an effect of GLP-1 agonism on reward processes in humans; however, results from clinical studies remain inconclusive.METHODS This is a predefined secondary analysis of a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial evaluating the GLP-1 agonist dulaglutide as a therapy for smoking cessation. The main objective was to assess differences in alcohol consumption after 12 weeks of treatment with dulaglutide compared to placebo. The effect of dulaglutide on alcohol consumption was analyzed using a multivariable generalized linear model.RESULTS In the primary analysis, participants out of the cohort (n = 255) who reported drinking alcohol at baseline and who completed 12 weeks of treatment (n = 151; placebo n = 75, dulaglutide n = 76) were included. The median age was 42 (IQR 33–53) with 61% (n = 92) females. At week 12, participants receiving dulaglutide drank 29% less (relative effect = 0.71, 95% CI 0.52–0.97, P = 0.04) than participants receiving placebo. Changes in alcohol consumption were not correlated with smoking status at week 12.CONCLUSION These results provide evidence that dulaglutide reduces alcohol intake in humans and contribute to the growing body of literature promoting the use of GLP-1 agonists in treatment of substance use disorders.TRIAL REGISTRATION ClinicalTrials.gov NCT03204396.FUNDING Swiss National Foundation, Gottfried Julia Bangerter-Rhyner Foundation, Goldschmidt-Jacobson Foundation, Hemmi Foundation, University of Basel, University Hospital Basel, Swiss Academy of Medical Science.


Leila Probst, Sophie Monnerat, Deborah R. Vogt, Sophia Lengsfeld, Thilo Burkard, Andrea Meienberg, Cemile Bathelt, Mirjam Christ-Crain, Bettina Winzeler


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