Alcohol Use
Research Study
Heavy drinkers are invited to participate in a compensated study conducted by Boston Medical Center aimed at quitting or curbing uncontrolled drinking for good.
Clinic visits in Boston, MA
Regularly Drink Alcohol
Compensation Provided
17 week Study period
21+ Years Old
Fast Facts
Study Background
Alcohol use disorder (AUD) is one of the most prevalent substance use disorders in the world. An estimated 95,000 people die of alcohol-related causes in the United States each year. AUD is responsible for many medical, psychological, social, economic, and personal problems.

The Clinical Studies Unit at Boston Medical Center is conducting a research study testing an investigational medication treatment to help people cut back or quit drinking. We are testing the efficacy of a hormone called Oxytocin in reducing cravings and anxiety.

Oxytocin is a medication approved by the FDA for women during childbirth. It is not FDA approved for treating alcohol use disorder but based on some preliminary studies we believe it may help people cut back or quit drinking. Oxytocin can induce anti-stress-like effects, can increase pain thresholds, can promote positive social interaction, and can reduce anxiety.
Additional Information
Why is this study being done?
Boston Medical Center researchers want to test the efficacy of Oxytocin in reducing alcohol cravings.
Is this study for me?
You may qualify for this study if you meet the following criteria:

Eligibility Criteria:

  • 21+ years old
  • Drink regularly
  • Looking to quit drinking OR cut back
  • Located in the Boston area & able to travel to Boston Medical Center for study visits
What will happen if I participate in this study?
This is a 17-week outpatient study that begins with a screening period. The screening period consists of up to 2 clinic visits over a period of up to 2 weeks. We do not require you to make any changes to your drinking prior to your starting the study medication, but we do require that you have a blood-alcohol level of zero on the first day of screening.

On your first screening visit, you will be asked questions to determine your eligibility.

Once we've determined your eligibility, we'll enroll you into a 12-week study treatment phase. During the study treatment phase, you will receive computer-based alcohol treatment and a nasal spray that is either oxytocin or placebo. Over this 12-week study treatment period, you will be asked to attend 7 in-clinic visits, as well as complete 5 telephone interviews on weeks when you do not have a clinic visit.

You will attend one additional in-clinic visit at the conclusion of the study treatment period. You will also be asked to complete a safety follow-up telephone interview 1-2 weeks after the study treatment period.
Will there be compensation paid for being in this research study?
You will be compensated for your participation in our study.
Will it cost anything to participate in this study?
There is no cost for you to participate in this study.