How drugs used to treat type 2 diabetes and obesity reduce alcohol cravings

How Drugs Used to Treat Type 2 Diabetes and Obesity Reduce Alcohol Cravings

How Drugs Used to Treat Type 2 Diabetes and Obesity Reduce Alcohol Cravings

Alcohol addiction is a serious problem affecting millions of people worldwide. It can lead to various health issues and negatively impact personal and professional lives. However, recent research has shown promising results in using drugs commonly prescribed for type 2 diabetes and obesity to reduce alcohol cravings.

The Link Between Alcohol Cravings and Type 2 Diabetes/Obesity

Scientists have long suspected a connection between alcohol cravings and metabolic disorders such as type 2 diabetes and obesity. Both conditions involve dysregulation of insulin and glucose metabolism, which can influence the brain’s reward system and increase the desire for alcohol.

Researchers conducted a study to investigate this link further and explore the potential of using existing medications to address alcohol addiction.

The Study and Findings

The study involved a group of individuals with alcohol use disorder (AUD) who were also diagnosed with type 2 diabetes or obesity. The participants were divided into two groups: one receiving the standard treatment for AUD, and the other receiving a combination of the standard treatment and drugs commonly used for type 2 diabetes and obesity.

After a period of several weeks, the researchers found that the group receiving the combination treatment showed a significant reduction in alcohol cravings compared to the control group. Additionally, participants in the combination treatment group reported fewer instances of relapse and improved overall well-being.

The Mechanism of Action

The drugs used to treat type 2 diabetes and obesity, such as metformin and liraglutide, work by regulating insulin and glucose levels in the body. These medications also affect the brain’s reward system, reducing the desire for alcohol.

Metformin, for example, has been shown to decrease alcohol intake in animal studies by modulating dopamine release in the brain. Liraglutide, on the other hand, acts on the brain’s appetite control centers, reducing cravings for both food and alcohol.

Implications and Future Research

The findings of this study have significant implications for the treatment of alcohol addiction. By repurposing existing medications, healthcare professionals can potentially provide more effective and accessible treatment options for individuals struggling with AUD.

However, further research is needed to validate these findings and determine the optimal dosage and duration of treatment. Additionally, studies exploring the long-term effects and potential side effects of using these medications for alcohol addiction are necessary.


The discovery that drugs used to treat type 2 diabetes and obesity can reduce alcohol cravings brings hope to individuals battling alcohol addiction. By leveraging existing medications, researchers have opened up new possibilities for more effective treatment options.

As further research unfolds, healthcare professionals can better understand the potential of these drugs and develop personalized treatment plans to address alcohol addiction and improve the lives of those affected.