Alcohol cravings drug granted approval in Scotland

Scotland has become the first country in Europe to prescribe a new drug which reduces cravings for alcohol.

Nalmefene has been given the go-ahead by the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC), which approves drugs for use on the NHS.

It is designed for people who are heavy drinkers but not the most severely-dependent alcoholics.

The SMC said it should only be prescribed alongside psychological support.

In trials, men who normally drank eight units of alcohol a day and women who drank six a day reduced their consumption by half over a six-month period when they took nalmefene.

It comes in the form of a pill which is designed to be taken before drinking, not necessarily every day. Nalmefene costs £3 per tablet.