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The mu-opioid system has a key role in hedonic and motivational processes critical to substance addiction. However, existing mu-opioid antagonists have had limited success as anti-addiction treatments. GSK1521498 is a selective and potent mu-opioid antagonist being developed for the treatment of overeating and substance addictions. In this study, 28 healthy participants were administered single doses of GSK1521498 20 mg, ethanol 0.5 g/kg body weight, or both in combination, in a double blind placebo controlled four-way crossover design. The primary objective was to determine the risk of significant adverse pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic (PK) interactions. The effects of GSK1521498 on hedonic and consummatory responses to alcohol and the attentional processing of alcohol-related stimuli, and their modulation by the OPRM1 A118G polymorphism were also explored. GSK1521498 20 mg was well tolerated alone and in combination with ethanol. There were mild transient effects of GSK1521498 on alertness and mood that were greater when it was combined with ethanol. These effects were not of clinical significance. There were no effects of GSK1521498 on reaction time, hedonic or consummatory responses. These findings provide encouraging safety and PK data to support continued development of GSK1521498 for the treatment of alcohol addiction.

Original publication




Journal article


J clin pharmacol

Publication Date





1078 - 1090


OPRM1, addiction, alcohol, mu-opioid receptor, pharmacodynamics, pharmacogenetics, pharmacokinetics, safety, Adult, Affect, Cross-Over Studies, Double-Blind Method, Drug Interactions, Ethanol, Humans, Indans, Middle Aged, Polymorphism, Genetic, Receptors, Opioid, mu, Triazoles, Young Adult