Human Laboratory Screening of Semaglutide for Alcohol Use Disorder

  • Claus, Eric (CoPI)
  • Hendershot, Christian S. (CoPI)
  • Hendershot, Christian S. (PI)

Project: Research project

Project Details


PROJECT SUMMARY Pharmacotherapy development remains a critical objective for reducing health and societal burdens associated with alcohol use disorder (AUD). Developing targeted treatments for specific AUD subgroups is a key aim under the NIAAA medication development strategy. Among those with AUD, cigarette smokers comprise a sizable and critical subgroup with disproportionally high long-term health risks, making it a key priority to advance therapies for concurrent AUD and cigarette smoking. Recent preclinical evidence indicates that glucagon-type peptide-1, an incretin hormone, impacts alcohol motivation and intake. So far, no studies have reported on the effects of GLP-1 receptor medications on aspects of alcohol motivation and reward in human participants. Human laboratory medication trials offer a time- and cost-effective option for validating preclinical findings prior to carrying out larger randomized controlled trials. This project will utilize human laboratory screening procedures to evaluate a GLP-1 receptor agonist as a novel candidate therapy for smokers with AUD. Participants who meet criteria for AUD and report regular light-to-moderate smoking will complete alcohol administration procedures in a within-subjects, counter-balanced design. This study will provide initial human data on the effects of a GLP-1 receptor agonist in relation to alcohol-related outcomes, including both alcohol and nicotine motivation, in participants with AUD. Validation of a candidate monotherapy for joint alcohol and nicotine reduction could have substantial public health impact.
Effective start/end date4/10/193/31/21


  • National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism: $214,657.00


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