Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Email from Dr. Olivier Ameisen

Dear all, physicians who are in academia or who are simply practicing the Art of medicine,

I am hereby appealling to your sense of empathy, not only as physicians or as scientists, but as human beings.

Dear journalists whose help towards patients has been invaluable to patients in succeeding in saving lives where academics, with the exception of a few, seem to have failed their mission : journalists have the merit of having publicized my treatment to bypass academia's surprising lack of responsiveness in not having conducted the randomized trials I have been urging for since 2004,

Above all, Dear patients who are taking the matter in their own hands by informing their GPs and having their addictions completely suppressed with this treatment,

A most interesting paper has been published a few days ago in Journal of Clinical Psychopharamacology. I invite all of you to read it to carefully read it.

This should warrant randomized trials.
As Dr Jerome B Posner, has statedas early as 2008:
“One wonders if high-dose baclofen will apparently become the treatment of choice without ever undergoing a controlled trial, simply because more and more alcoholics will be treated and the effectiveness will spread by word of mouth. If it works as well as you indicate that it does, it shouldn't need controlled trials. Even if a controlled trial were to show no overall benefit, it is clear that at least some (maybe all?) patient's do respond.” In 2005, Dr Posner had already written about my discovery: “Your treatment is reminiscent of the way in which George Cotzias was able to prove that L-dopa could successfully treat parkinsonism. Others had tried the drug with little success because they were unwilling to push the dose to full tolerance.” Later, Dr Posner had followed his statement by: “It is possible that an appropriate a randomized-controlled study will never be mounted for some of the reasons that you have indicated in the book. I recognize that such studies represent the "gold standard" for proving an idea. However, there are other standards, as for example your own very carefully studied case. If a few physicians who treat many patients for alcoholism were to adopt baclofen in appropriate doses as treatment of their patients, they may rapidly accumulate sufficient patients to compare the effect (that is the percentage of patients who succeed and no longer crave the drug ) of baclofen with the known effects (the percentage of patients who fail or still crave) of the many other treatments that have been reported. If, for example, a few series with a significant number patients were to report a 60 or 70% success rate with little or no craving, comparing that with a high failure rate of "historical controls" would be compelling evidence for the usefulness of the drug. I congratulate you. You may be responsible for making a signal discovery, much like, but better than that of George Cotzias, in that so many more patients may be involved.”
Let us not forget the wisdom of this living legend in the field of neurology. Dr Posner was right, it indeed did spread via word of mouth!

Let us all pescribe high-dose baclofen! I myself do, with considerable success. Until proven proven wrong by such trial, if such trial were to ever see existence, which becomes unlikely, due to major conflicts of interest, let us do it! The burden of proof remains in the hands of academia that has so far not lifted a finger while trialling ineffective and dangerous medications. The FDA is trying to have one of such approved! So has Afssaps, its imprudent french couterpart that has marketed dangerous products such as rimonabant (Acomplia), an amphetamine-like drug (Mediator) along with PIP prostheis... to take them of the shelves when grave side effects appeared. They had received warnings as early as 1997 from FDA which had categorically refused to such "treatments".
Theya are considering marketing two "new" drugs that are being FDA rejected.
Let us not forget that in France, one can purchase codein and opiates over the counter (otc) at any pharmacy, as easy as liquor in any supermarket, while a prescription is required for baclofen... a medication that is harmless. Aspirin, paracetamol that are dangerous, even at therapeutic dose, otc. On an internet forum, somebody writes that for 2 euros and 37 cents, (that is less than 3 US dollars), he gets 15 pills, that amounts to 10 grams of Codeine and .10 grams of ethylmorphine.
France as a paradise for opiate addicts!

Current trials at high-dose are tainted with such conflicts of interest.

We owe it to patients affilicted with addiction to alcohol, related licit and illicit drugs and related behaviors related : they suffer the torture of abstinence and die like flies. Withholding it from patients could bring lawsuits again non-prescribers, because distinguished neurologists have been routinely prescibing high-dose baclofen for decades for as benign conditions as muscular spasticity or dystonia. They have being using it at 300mg/d in adults and 180mg/d in children.
Not one single case of death, not any irreversible side effect has been reported (cf my book "The end of my addiction" and "Heal Thyself",as well of course as Pubmed), not even with suicide attempts at up to 2.5 grams (Leung et al.)!

Cheers to all and thank you for your kind support in this struggle of mine to help our desperate patients. They and thir loved ones cannot understand why some of you are withholding treatment from them. I am available for any question from any of yours about the protocol I am using. I will try to honor all invitations of yours to lecture about it. I have already alerted my non-english speaking colleagues in French, some of whom pretending to teach my method while using "variations on a theme of..." while being suboptimally efficient at using HD baclofen. This is a euphemism.
I invite you to read my papers in Alcohol and Alcoholism, JAMA, Lancet etc and to visit my website:
www.olivierameisen.com is not updated.

Also, please forgive the poor grammatics and typos conmprised in this email to you. I wrote it within in a few hours' time, without double-checking for errors, because I feel that this is an urgent matter: craving should be consider a medical emergency as is hypoglycemia or acute adrenal insufficiency. It should mandatorily be completely suppressed and not only reduced because any craving can lead to drink or to use, each of which can be deadly for any such "binge". When at the wheel of a car, a patient can kill her/himself but also becomes a human bomb to others.

Olivier Ameisen

Olivier Ameisen, M.D.
Visiting Professor of Medicine
State University of New York Downstate Medical Center


  1. I think this therapy sounds promising, but I would like to comment on one of your statements. You stated that neurologists have been prescribing "high dose" baclofen for "as benign conditions as muscular spasticity or dystonia". Coming from someone who works with spinal cord injury patients, these conditions are anything but benign. SCI patients who experience spasticity and dystonia can experience significant amounts of pain, not including limitation of ADL's as a result of their spasticity. Even more, significant spasticity in high level SCI patients can trigger Autonomic Dysreflexia, which can be fatal. I think your proposed use of baclofen could have significant implications on treating addiction, but your choice of reference frame for the dosing was presented inappropriately. As it relates to the dosing range listed, I work at a renouned SCI institute, and our max dosing, for any patient, is 120mg/day, as any doses above this are associated with dose limiting side effects.

  2. Baclofen worked for me. I was drinking over 60 beers a week and simply could not stop. I read "The end of my addiction" and got my Dr. to give me baclofen. Within 4 days I was able to stop drinking completely. It has now been almost four years and life is great. Now I'm a great dad, husband and business owner. Yes, I still take baclofen everyday. It worked and is working for me, if you don't believe me just ask my wife. She Loves me and she Loves what baclofen has done for me. The real reason why baclofen isn't catching on is because it sounds to good to be true. But it is true. THANKS DR. Ameisen you saved my marriage and my life!

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.