Harness is a research study being conducted by the San Francisco Department of Public Health. The purpose of this study is to see if the herbal plant Kudzu, taken on an as-needed basis can reduce episodes of heavy alcohol consumption.
Ultimately, we want to learn whether this herbal medication can help people to reduce their alcohol use, as well as associated high-risk behaviors.
The Harness study is open to individuals regardless of HIV status.
Kudzu is an edible vine that has been used for medicinal purposes to treat alcohol use disorder in China and Japan since at least 600 AD. Kudzu extract contain isoflavones, which is a naturally occurring plant compound that has shown to reduce alcohol consumption, and plasma alcohol levels.
Prior studies suggest that the medication we are testing may reduce alcohol use. Specifics of the herbal medication will be explained to you during the screening process. However, it is important to understand that we do not know if this medication will lead to a reduction in heavy alcohol consumption.
To see if you may be eligible to participate, call us at 628-217-6333 or send us your contact information using the contact form on this page to see if you might qualify. If you do, we will set up the first screening visit for you to come in to our office to see if you meet further study criteria. Determining study eligibility involves meeting with a research associate, clinical staff and various other procedures, which will be explained to you during the informed consent process.
Being in clinical research, we follow the standard research design of double-blind and randomized, which means there is a 50/50 chance of you receiving either Kudzu or placebo (an inactive substance). If you are eligible and choose to participate, you will take your study medication, on an as- needed basis in anticipation of drinking or at times when you are craving alcohol. The duration of the study is 12-weeks and during this time you would come to our office at Market and Van Ness once a week. You will be paid $10-$50 per visit (for a total of $444 if all visits and all procedures are completed). . You will also receive daily assessments to your phone asking if and when you took your study medication.
Study participation is completely voluntary, you are free to withdraw participation at any time. Study staff will work with you to accommodate any difficulties you have in making study visits.
Neither you nor the study staff will know if you are receiving Kudzu or placebo (both the medication and placebo look exactly the same) until the entire study is fully enrolled and completed. Upon completion, our staff will contact each participant and inform you of what arm you were assigned to.