Would you take a pill to stay sober?

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London - Doctors are testing a drug that could stop alcohol making people drunk.

The researchers believe iomazenil, taken before drinking, might negate some of alcohol’s effects on the brain.

Tests in a driving simulator will determine whether the drug makes volunteer drinkers safer behind the wheel after imbibing.

The results of a pilot study suggest those who take iomazenil before drinking brake more quickly and are less likely to stray into the wrong lane.

But the researchers, from Yale University in the US, do not want to develop a drug that simply allows people to drink more.

They hope that by stopping alcohol from getting to work on particular brain cells, iomazenil could help in developing a “stay sober” pill to wean heavy drinkers off alcohol by taking some of the pleasure out of drinking. This would reduce the damage done to the liver and other organs.

Researcher Deepak D’Souza, a psychiatrist, said: “A medication that has the potential to block alcohol actions in the central nervous system could act as a unique medication in the treatment of alcohol intoxication and alcoholism.”

In other recent work by American and Australian scientists, mice given enough alcohol to make them stumble and fall did not get drunk after receiving a version of the drug naloxone. - Daily Mail

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