Does Propranolol, a Beta Blocker, Attenuate Stress-Induced Drinking?

  • End date
    Feb 28, 2026
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    Yale University
Updated on 22 March 2022
Accepts healthy volunteers


For this protocol, the investigators plan to conduct a pilot study evaluating the effect of propranolol on alcohol consumption. Using a parallel design, the investigators plan to randomize 20 non-treatment seeking adults with alcohol use disorders (DSM-5) to propranolol extended release (160mg/day or placebo; n=10 per cell) to evaluate whether propranolol reduces alcohol self-administered in the laboratory. Importantly, the investigators will evaluate whether propranolol counteracts stress-induced effects on alcohol self-administration. Following titration to steady state medication levels over a 2-week period, each subject will complete two laboratory sessions consisting of a well validated method for inducing stress or neutral/relaxing state (order counterbalanced), followed by a 2-hour alcohol self-administration paradigm known to be sensitive to medication effects.

Condition Alcohol Drinking
Treatment Placebo, Propranolol, Propanolol
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT03588754
SponsorYale University
Last Modified on22 March 2022


Yes No Not Sure

Inclusion Criteria

Age 21-65
Able to read and write English
Meets Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) criteria for current (past 6 months) alcohol use disorders
Able to take oral medications and willing to adhere to medication regimen

Exclusion Criteria

Participants with any significant current medical conditions
Women who are pregnant or nursing, or fail to use one of the following methods of birth control unless she or partner is surgically sterile or she is postmenopausal (hormone contraceptives [oral, implant, injection, patch, or ring], contraceptive sponge, double barrier [diaphragm or condom plus spermicide], or IUD)
Suicidal, homicidal or evidence of current (past 6-month) mental illness
Specific exclusions for administration of propranolol not already specified
Subjects likely to exhibit clinically significant alcohol withdrawal during the study
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