Pharmacotherapy should be considered for all patients with moderate to severe alcohol use disorder (AUD) following detoxification. They are best used in conjunction with psychosocial support. For some, medication is associated with a critical period of abstinence, during which the patient can learn to maintain abstinence or reduce drinking. For patients who are motivated to take the medication, it can be a potential tool for reducing the core symptoms of AUD.

In Australia, there is a requirement for pharmacotherapies to be part of a comprehensive treatment program to gain Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) subsidy. Trials of pharmacotherapies have typically included some form of psychosocial support. Thus, it is recommended that pharmacotherapy should be considered in association with psychosocial supports as part of an after-care treatment plan.

Chapter Recommendation Grade of recommendation
10.1 Pharmacotherapy should be considered for patients with moderate to severe AUD (i.e. alcohol dependence), and in association with psychosocial supports. GPP