The Human Laboratory and Drug Development in Alcohol Use Disorder: Recent Updates

  • Chidera C. Chukwueke
  • Bernard Le FollEmail author
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 2011)


Despite a number of approved medications for alcohol use disorder (AUD), this chronic relapsing disease still produces a considerable global burden, with both health-related and financial consequences. While clinical trials are a critical step in drug development, human laboratory studies provide the field with means of screening pharmacotherapy for more nuanced aspects of AUD. Specifically, studies employing alcohol administration techniques (e.g., alcohol challenge and self-administration) are able to investigate potential drugs with respect to their ability to alter various responses to alcohol administration or alter alcohol consumption in laboratory settings. This chapter reviews methodological designs and provides updates from alcohol administration studies used to screen for potential AUD pharmacotherapy over the past decade. These recent studies have supported the efficacy of approved drugs, identified some promising novel drugs, and investigated other drugs that appear ineffective in AUD treatment. Yet, few drugs are explored using the different variants of alcohol administration methods, and using the different methods has provided inconsistent results for the same drug. Future research would aid advancement in the field by testing medication with various methodologies and refining recently developed techniques.

Key words

Alcohol use disorder Pharmacotherapy Human laboratory Alcohol administration Alcohol challenge Self-administration 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.King’s College Circle, Department of Pharmacology and ToxicologyUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Translational Addiction Research Laboratory, Campbell Family Mental Health Research InstituteCentre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH)TorontoCanada

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