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Acamprosate (calcium acetyl-homotaurine) is a synthetic compound that crosses the blood-brain barrier and has a chemical structure similar to that of the naturally occurring amino acid neuromediators, homotaurine and γ-aminobu-tyric acid (GABA). Acamprosate appears to act primarily by restoring normal N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor tone in the glutamate system, and has been shown to have a specific dose-dependent effect on decreasing voluntary alcohol intake in animals with no effects on food and water consumption. The safety and efficacy of acamprosate in alcohol-dependent outpatients is currently under evaluation in the United States. Acamprosate has been available by prescription since 1989 in France and more recently in most European and Latin American coutries as well as Australia, South Africa, and Hong Kong. More than 4 million people have been treated with acamprosate since it became commercially available.
The purpose of this article is to review all available double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trials evaluating the safety and efficacy of acamprosate treatment of alcohol dependence. This work encompasses 16 controlled clinical trials conducted across 11 European countries and involves more than 4,500 outpatients with alcohol dependence. Fourteen of 16 studies found alcohol-dependent patients treated with acamprosate had a significantly greater rate of treatment completion, time to first drink, abstinence rate, and/or cumulative abstinence duration than patients treated with placebo. Additionally, a multinational open-label study of acamprosate in 1,281 patients with alcohol dependence found acamprosate to be equally effective across four major psychosocial concomitant treatment programs in maintaining abstinence and reducing consumption during any periods of relapse. An absence of known strong predictors of response to acamprosate, in conjunction with a modest but consistent effect on prolonging abstinence, and an excellent safety profile, lend support to the use of acamprosate across a broad range of patients with alcohol dependence.
To determine whether healthy adult nasal carriers of Staphylococcus aureus can disperse S. aureus into the air after rhinovirus infection.
We investigated the “cloud” phenomenon among adult nasal carriers of S. aureus experimentally infected with a rhinovirus. Eleven volunteers were studied for 16 days in an airtight chamber wearing street clothes, sterile garb, or sterile garb plus surgical mask; rhinovirus inoculation occurred on day 2. Daily quantitative air, nasal, and skin cultures for S. aureus; cold symptom assessment; and nasal rhinovirus cultures were performed.
Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
Wake Forest University undergraduate or graduate students who had persistent nasal carriage of S. aureus for 4 or 8 weeks.
After rhinovirus inoculation, dispersal of S. aureus into the air increased 2-fold with peak increases up to 34-fold. Independent predictors of S. aureus dispersal included the time period after rhinovirus infection and wearing street clothes (P < .05). Wearing barrier garb but not a mask decreased dispersal of S. aureus into the air (P < .05).
Virus-induced dispersal of S. aureus into the air may have an important role in the transmission of S. aureus and other bacteria.
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