Open Actively Recruiting

A Novel Human Lab Model for Screening AUD Medications


Brief Summary

This study design consists of a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, 3-arm, parallel-group study of naltrexone (50 mg QD) and varenicline (1 mg BID). A total of 108 men and women with current AUD (moderate or severe) and reporting intrinsic motivation to change their drinking, will be randomly assigned to receive naltrexone (50 mg QD), varenicline (1 mg BID) or matched placebo. Post-randomization, all participants will complete an alcohol cue-reactivity paradigm prior to the initial dose of study medication. After a week-long medication titration period, participants will be asked to complete a 7-day practice quit attempt, during which they will have daily virtual visits (phone and online) where they will report on their alcohol use. Additionally, a second cue-reactivity paradigm will be conducted 90 minutes following study drug administration on final day of the practice quit attempt (Day 14).

Primary Purpose
Study Type
Phase I/II


Healthy Volunteers
Minimum Age
21 Years
Maximum Age
65 Years

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Be between the ages of 21 and 65
  • Meet current (i.e., past 12-month) DSM-5 diagnostic criteria for AUD moderate or severe
  • Have intrinsic motivation to reduce or quit drinking (defined as self-reported intention to reduce or quit drinking within the next 6 months)
  • Report drinking at least 28 drinks per week if male (14 drinks per week if female) in the 28 days prior to the initial consent
  • Have reliable internet access

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Have a current (last 12 months) DSM-5 diagnosis of substance use disorder for any psychoactive substances other than alcohol and nicotine
  • Have a lifetime DSM-5 diagnosis of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or any psychotic disorder
  • Have a positive urine screen for drugs other than cannabis
  • Have clinically significant alcohol withdrawal symptoms as indicated by a score ≥ 10 on the Clinical Institute Withdrawal Assessment for Alcohol-Revised (CIWA-R)
  • Have an intense fear of needles or have had any adverse reactions to needle puncture
  • Be pregnant, nursing, or planning to become pregnant while taking part in the study; and must agree to one of the following methods of birth control (if female), unless she or partner are surgically sterile:
    • Oral contraceptives
    • Contraceptive sponge
    • Patch
    • Double barrier
    • Intrauterine contraceptive device
    • Etonogestrel implant
    • Medroxyprogesterone acetate contraceptive injection
    • Complete abstinence from sexual intercourse
    • Hormonal vaginal contraceptive ring
  • Have a medical condition that may interfere with safe study participation (e.g., unstable cardiac, renal, or liver disease, uncontrolled hypertension or diabetes)
  • Be currently taking any psychotropic medications that, in the opinion of the investigators, compromises participant safety
  • Be currently taking or have had previous experience with either naltrexone or varenicline
  • Have any other circumstances that, in the opinion of the investigators, compromises participant safety

Join this Trial

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Study Stats
Protocol No.
Jessica Jenkins
  • UCLA Westwood
For Providers
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