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Love Hormone Shows Promise for Alcohol Withdrawals

A new study reported in Time Magazine reports the “love hormone” known as oxytocin could help block alcohol withdrawal symptoms.

Studies with rodents have concluded that oxytoxin can block heroin and alcohol withdrawal symptoms. When the hormone is given to someone before they become addicted, it may prevent tolerance and dependence, Time reports.

The study was published first in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research. This study included 11 people whose alcohol abuse was not severe enough to produce life-threatening withdrawals. While these people were detoxing, they were given a nasal spray containing oxytoxin. These patients needed five times less Ativan for their withdrawal symptoms than patients who were not given the hormone. Patients using the hormone spray also reported experiencing less anxiety than their counterparts who did not use the hormone spray.

The researchers are encouraged by the results of the study, but they say conclusive evidence of how effective this type of detox can be for alcoholic patients is not available because the study was too small.

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