Heavy drinking can cause serious health, family, and economic problems. Finding treatments
that are effective in decreasing heavy drinking among alcohol-dependent individuals is,
therefore, an important scientific and health goal. A novel and important strategy to enhance
alcoholism treatment efforts uses a personalized medicine approach to optimize treatment
effects by selecting the "right" patient therapeutically and potentially with a minimum of
adverse events, for a specific medication.
This study will extend findings from a randomized double-blind clinical trial of ondansetron,
in which the medication was found to reduce drinking among individuals with certain genotypes
(i.e., forms of DNA, the material that controls the inheritance of characteristics). The
proposed study will address a number of limitations in the prior work, including testing the
medication in both European-American and African-American samples.