The purpose of this study is to examine the effects of pioglitazone on stress-induced relapse risk in a laboratory model and to examine the effects of pioglitazone on drinking, stress/anxiety, and alcohol craving in the natural environment



Eligible Ages
Over 18 Years
Eligible Genders
Accepts Healthy Volunteers

Inclusion Criteria

  • treatment-seeking individuals diagnosed with Alcohol Use Disorder Diagnostic (AUD) and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition (DSM-5) - fluent in English - past month excessive alcohol use (>7 drinks/week for woman, >14 drinks/week for men, >3 drinks/occasion for women>4 drinks/occasion for men) - exhibit baseline measures of either 1) 8-23 on HAM-A indicative of mild to moderate anxiety, 2) 14-26 on PSS Score indicative of moderate stress, or 3) ≥2 on Drinking Motives Questionnaire (DMQ-R) questions related to drinking indicating that individuals drink at least "some of the time" to cope - exhibit increased stress reactivity (increased physiological response and/or self-report) at the baseline stress reactivity assessment - females will need to agree to use of barrier methods of contraception due to pioglitazone's effects on plasma concentrations of oral contraceptives

Exclusion Criteria

  • Exhibit severe scores on the HAM-A, PSS, or PTSD checklist (PCL-5) - may be enrolled at the discretion of the admitting physician (Dr. Weaver) - physical dependence on alcohol (CIWAA > 10) - greater than mild substance use disorder on drugs other than alcohol, nicotine, and marijuana - contraindications for taking pioglitazone - medical conditions (e.g., congestive heart failure, clinically significant edema, clinically significant liver disease, hypoglycemia, diabetes, history of bladder cancer) - contraindicating pioglitazone pharmacotherapy or taking contraindicated medications (e.g., CYP2C8 inhibitors or inducers, antihyperglycemic medications) - be pregnant, nursing, or planning on becoming pregnant during the course of the study - have any other illness, condition, or use of medications, which in the opinion of the PI and/or admitting physician would preclude safe and/or successful completion of the study

Study Design

Phase 1/Phase 2
Study Type
Intervention Model
Parallel Assignment
Primary Purpose
Quadruple (Participant, Care Provider, Investigator, Outcomes Assessor)

Arm Groups

ArmDescriptionAssigned Intervention
  • Drug: Pioglitazone
    For the current trial we will follow recommended adult initial dosing at 30 mg/d to reach maintenance dose of 45 mg/d by end of week 1, which is within standard titration parameters as per the investigator's brochure.
Placebo Comparator
  • Drug: Placebo
    Pill capsules will look same as that of active drug.

Recruiting Locations

The University of Texas Health Science Center of Houston
Houston, Texas 77030
Jin H Yoon, PhD

More Details

The University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston

Study Contact

Jin H Yoon, PhD


Study information shown on this site is derived from ClinicalTrials.gov (a public registry operated by the National Institutes of Health). The listing of studies provided is not certain to be all studies for which you might be eligible. Furthermore, study eligibility requirements can be difficult to understand and may change over time, so it is wise to speak with your medical care provider and individual research study teams when making decisions related to participation.