Addiction is a chronic relapsing brain disease and treatment of relapse to drug-seeking is considered the most challenging part of treating addictive disorders. Relapse can be modeled in laboratory animals using reinstatement paradigms, whereby behavioral responding for a drug is extinguished and then reinstated by different trigger factors, such as environmental cues or stress. In this review, we first describe currently used animal models of relapse, different relapse triggering factors, and the validity of this model to assess relapse in humans. We further summarize the growing body of pharmacological interventions that have shown some promise in treating relapse to psychostimulant addiction. Moreover, we present an overview on the drugs tested in cocaine or methamphetamine addicts and examine the overlap of existing preclinical and clinical data. Finally, based on recent advances in our understanding of the neurobiology of relapse and published preclinical data, we highlight the most promising areas for future anti-relapse medication development.
cocaine; drug screening; methamphetamine; reinstatement; relapse; self-administration
Cocaine abuse and dependence continue to be widespread. Currently there are no pharmacotherapies shown to be effective in the treatment of cocaine dependence.
A 33-week outpatient clinical trial of fluoxetine (60 mg/day, p.o.) for cocaine dependence was conducted that incorporated abstinence-contingent voucher incentives. Participants (n=145) were both cocaine and opioid dependent and treated with methadone. A stratified randomization procedure assigned subjects to one of four conditions: fluoxetine plus voucher incentives (FV), placebo plus voucher incentives (PV), fluoxetine without vouchers (F), and placebo without vouchers (P). Dosing of fluoxetine/placebo was double blind. Primary outcomes were treatment retention and cocaine use based on thrice-weekly urine testing.
The PV group had the longest treatment retention (mean of 165 days) and lowest probability of cocaine use. The adjusted predicted probabilities of cocaine use were: 65% in the P group, 60% in the F group, 56% in the FV group, and 31% in the PV group.
Fluoxetine was not efficacious in reducing cocaine use in patients dually dependent on cocaine and opioids.
Cocaine; Contingency management; Fluoxetine; Methadone
Cocaine users not seeking treatment have increased regional brain mu-opioid receptor (mOR) binding that correlates with cocaine craving and tendency to relapse. In cocaine-abusing outpatients in treatment, the relationship of mOR binding and treatment outcome is unknown.
We determined whether regional brain mOR binding before treatment correlates with outcome and compared it to standard clinical predictors of outcome. Twenty-five individuals seeking outpatient treatment for cocaine abuse or dependence (DSM-IV) received up to 12 weeks of cognitive-behavioral therapy and cocaine-abstinence reinforcement whereby each cocaine-free urine was reinforced with vouchers redeemable for goods. Regional brain mOR binding was measured before treatment using positron emission tomography (PET) with [11C] carfentanil (a selective mOR agonist). Main outcome measures were: 1) overall percentage of urines positive for cocaine during first month of treatment, 2) longest duration (weeks) of abstinence from cocaine during treatment, all verified by urine toxicology.
Elevated mOR binding in the medial frontal and middle frontal gyri before treatment correlated with greater cocaine use during treatment. Elevated mOR binding in the anterior cingulate, medial frontal, middle frontal, middle temporal, and sub-lobar insular gyri correlated with shorter duration of cocaine abstinence during treatment. Regional mOR binding contributed significant predictive power for treatment outcome beyond that of standard clinical variables such as baseline drug and alcohol use.
Elevated mOR binding in brain regions associated with reward sensitivity is a significant independent predictor of treatment outcome in cocaine-abusing outpatients, suggesting a key role for the brain endogenous opioid system in cocaine addiction.
cocaine; mu-opioid receptor; PET; treatment; addiction; dependence
Methamphetamine dependence is a serious public health problem worldwide for which there are no approved pharmacological treatments. Psychotherapy is still the mainstay of treatment; however, relapse rates are high. The search for effective pharmacological treatment has intensified in the last decade. This review will highlight progress in pharmacological interventions to treat methamphetamine dependence as well as explore new pharmacological targets. Published data from clinical trials for stimulant addiction were searched using PubMed and summarized, as well as highlights from a recent symposium on methamphetamine pharmacotherapy presented at the ISAM 2006 meeting, including interim analysis data from an ongoing D-amphetamine study in Australia. Early pilot data are encouraging for administering D-amphetamine and methylphenidate as treatment for heavy amphetamine users. Abilify at 15 mg/day dose increased amphetamine use in an outpatient pilot study. Sertraline, ondansetron, baclofen, tyrosine, and imipramine were ineffective in proof-of-concept studies. Development of pharmacotherapy for methamphetamine dependence is still in an early stage. Data suggesting D-amphetamine and methylphenidate as effective pharmacotherapy for methamphetamine addiction will need to be confirmed by larger trials. Preclinical data suggest that use of GVG, CB1 antagonist, and lobeline are also promising therapeutic strategies.
Methamphetamine; pharmacotherapy; bupropion; aripiprazole; methylphenidate; D-amphetamine
We evaluated the efficacy of an interactive, computer-based behavioral therapy intervention, grounded in the community reinforcement approach (CRA) plus voucher-based contingency management model of behavior therapy. Our randomized, controlled trial was conducted at a university-based research clinic. Participants comprised 135 volunteer adult outpatients who met DSM-IV criteria for opioid dependence. All participants received maintenance treatment with buprenorphine and were randomly assigned to one of three treatments: (1) therapist-delivered CRA treatment with vouchers, (2) computer-assisted CRA treatment with vouchers, or (3) standard treatment. The therapist-delivered and computer-assisted CRA plus vouchers interventions produced comparable weeks of continuous opioid and cocaine abstinence (mean = 7.98 and 7.78, respectively) and significantly greater weeks of abstinence than the standard intervention (mean = 4.69; p<.05), yet participants in the computer-assisted CRA condition had over 80% of their intervention delivered by an interactive computer program. The comparable efficacy obtained with computer-assisted and therapist-delivered therapy may enable more widespread dissemination of the evidence-based CRA plus vouchers intervention in a manner that is cost-effective and ensures treatment fidelity.
Computerized treatment; opioid dependence; buprenorphine; cognitive-behavior therapy; controlled trial
Alcoholism remain a serious cause of morbidity and mortality, despite progress through neurobiological research in identifying new pharmacological strategies for its treatment. Drugs that affect neural pathways that modulate the activity of the cortico-mesolimbic dopamine system have been shown to alter drinking behavior, presumably because this dopaminergic system is closely associated with rewarding behavior. Ondansetron, naltrexone, topiramate, and baclofen are examples. Subtyping alcoholism in adults into an early-onset type, with chronic symptoms and a strong biological predisposition to the disease, and a late-onset type, typically brought on by psychosocial triggers and associated with mood symptoms, may help in the selection of optimal therapy. Emerging adults with binge-drinking patterns also might be aided by selective treatments. Although preliminary work on the pharmacogenetics of alcoholism and its treatment has been promising, the assignment to treatment still depends on clinical assessment. Brief behavioral interventions that encourage the patient to set goals for a reduction in heavy drinking or abstinence also are part of optimal therapy.
Telephone-based monitoring is a promising approach to continuing care of substance use disorders, but patients often do not engage or participate enough to benefit. Voucher incentives can increase retention in outpatient treatment and continuing care, but may be less effective when reinforcement is delayed, as in telephone-based care. We compared treatment utilization rates among cocaine-dependent patients enrolled in telephone continuing care with and without voucher incentives to determine whether incentives increase participation in telephone-based care.
Participants were 195 cocaine-dependent patients who completed two weeks of community-based intensive outpatient treatment for substance use disorders and were randomly assigned to receive telephone continuing care with or without voucher incentives for participation as part of a larger clinical trial. The 12-month intervention included 2 in-person orientation sessions followed by up to 30 telephone sessions. Incentivized patients could receive up to $400 worth of gift cards.
Patients who received incentives were not more likely to complete their initial orientation to continuing care. Incentivized patients who completed orientation completed 67% of possible continuing care sessions, as compared to 39% among non-incentivized patients who completed orientation. Among all patients randomized to receive incentives, the average number of completed sessions was 15.5, versus 7.2 for patients who did not receive incentives, and average voucher earnings were $200.
Voucher incentives can have a large effect on telephone continuing care participation, even when reinforcement is delayed. Further research will determine whether increased participation leads to better outcome among patients who received incentives.
cocaine dependence; continuing care; voucher incentives; treatment retention
The dopamine D3 receptor (D3R) has been investigated as a potential target for medication development to treat substance use disorders (SUDs) with a particular focus on cocaine and methamphetamine. Currently, there are no approved medications to treat cocaine and methamphetamine addiction and thus developing pharmacotherapeutics to compliment existing behavioral strategies is a fundamental goal. Novel compounds with high affinity and D3R selectivity have been evaluated in numerous animal models of drug abuse and favorable outcomes in nonhuman primate models of self-administration and relapse have provided compelling evidence to advance these agents into the clinic. One approach is to repurpose drugs that share the D3R mechanism and already have clinical utility, and to this end buspirone has been identified as a viable candidate for clinical trials. A second, but substantially more resource intensive and risky approach involves the development of compounds that exclusively target D3R, such as GSK598809 and PG 619. Clinical investigation of these drugs or other novel D3R-selective agents will provide a better understanding of the role D3R plays in addiction and whether or not antagonists or partial agonists that are D3R selective are effective in achieving abstinence in this patient population.
cocaine; methamphetamine; buspirone; psychostimulant abuse; medication development
Preclinical findings suggest that the inhibition of NMDA glutamatergic neurotransmission may have beneficial effects in the treatment of cocaine dependence. We hypothesized that memantine, a low potency, uncompetitive NMDA receptor antagonist, would be safe and effective in the treatment of cocaine dependence, particularly in preventing relapse to cocaine use in abstinent individuals.
Cocaine dependent patients (N =112) were enrolled. The trial began with a 2-week placebo lead-in period during which patients received high-value voucher contingency management to induce abstinence. Participants were then randomized to receive either memantine 20 mg bid (N=39) or placebo (N=42) for 12-weeks in combination with individual relapse-prevention therapy. The randomization was stratified by abstinence status during the lead-in period. The primary outcome was the weekly proportion of days of cocaine use.
There were no significant differences in cocaine use outcome between the groups treated with memantine versus placebo. Thus, the efficacy of memantine 40 mg/d for the treatment of cocaine dependence was not supported. Urine-confirmed abstinence during the lead-in period was achieved by 44% of participants, and was a strong predictor of subsequent cocaine abstinence during the trial. This suggests that this clinical trial design, an intensive behavioral intervention during a lead-in period, resolves cocaine dependent patients into two subgroups, one that rapidly achieves sustained abstinence and may not need a medication, and another that displays persistent cocaine use and would most likely benefit from a medication to help induce abstinence. Targeting the latter subgroup may advance medication development efforts.
Cocaine dependence; Pharmacotherapy trials; NMDA receptors; Placebo lead-in; High value contingency reinforcement
This study compared the relative efficacy of two contingency management (CM) interventions versus standard care. During a 12-week intervention, opioid dependent participants (N = 120) were maintained on thrice-a-week (M, W, F) buprenorphine plus therapist and computer-based counseling. They were randomized to receive: (a) medication contingencies (MC= thrice weekly dosing schedule vs. daily attendance and single-day 50% dose reduction imposed upon submission of an opioid and/or cocaine positive urine sample); (b) voucher contingency (VC=escalating schedule for opioid and/or cocaine negative samples with reset for drug-positive samples); or (c) standard care (SC), with no programmed consequences for urinalysis results. Voucher reinforcement resulted in better 12-week retention (85%) compared to contingent medication (58%; p=0.009), but neither differed from standard care (76% retained). The groups submitted a similar overall percentage of opioid and cocaine-free urines (MC = 79%, VC = 76%, SC = 69%). After adjusting for baseline differences in employment, the medication contingency group achieved 1.5 more continuous weeks of combined opioid/cocaine abstinence than standard care (p=0.030), while the voucher group had 2 more total weeks of abstinence than standard care (p=0.048). Drug use results suggest that the two interventions were both efficacious, with effects seen primarily in opioid rather than cocaine test results. Findings should be interpreted in light of the greater attrition associated with medication-based contingencies versus the greater monetary costs of voucher-based contingencies.
buprenorphine; cocaine; community reinforcement approach; contingency management; opiate or opioid dependence
The discovery and development of medications to treat addiction and notably, cocaine addiction, have been frustrated by both the complexity of the disorder and the lack of target validation in human subjects. The dopamine transporter has historically been a primary target for cocaine abuse medication development, but addictive liability and other confounds of such inhibitors of dopamine uptake have limited clinical evaluation and validation. Herein we describe efforts to develop analogues of the dopamine uptake inhibitors GBR 12909 and benztropine that show promising profiles in animal models of cocaine abuse that contrast to that of cocaine. Their unique pharmacological profiles have provided important insights into the reinforcing actions of cocaine and we propose that clinical investigation of novel dopamine uptake inhibitors will facilitate the discovery of cocaine-abuse medications.
Delay discounting (DD) describes the rate at which reinforcers lose value as the temporal delay to their receipt increases. Steeper discounting has been positively associated with vulnerability to substance use disorders, including cocaine use disorders.
In the present study, we examined whether DD of hypothetical monetary reinforcers is associated with the duration of cocaine abstinence achieved among cocaine-dependent outpatients.
Participants were 36 adults who were participating in a randomized controlled trial examining the efficacy of voucher-based contingency management (CM) using low-magnitude (N = 18) or high-magnitude (N = 18) voucher monetary values.
DD was associated with the number of continuous weeks of cocaine abstinence achieved, even after adjusting for treatment condition during the initial 12-week (t(33) = 2.48, p = .045) and entire recommended 24-week of treatment (t(33) = 2.40, p = .022). Participants who exhibited steeper discounting functions achieved shorter periods of abstinence in the Low-magnitude voucher condition (12-week: t(16) = 2.48, p = .025; 24-week: t(16) = 2.68, p = .017), but not in the High-magnitude voucher condition (12-week: t(16) = 0.51, p = .618; 24-week: t(16) = 1.08, p = .298), although the interaction between DD and treatment condition was not significant (12-week: t(32) = −1.12, p = .271; 24-week: t(32) = −0.37, p = .712).
These results provide further evidence on associations between DD and treatment response and extend those observations to a new clinical population (i.e., cocaine-dependent outpatients), while also suggesting that a more intensive intervention like the High-magnitude CM condition may diminish this negative relationship between DD and treatment response.
Temporal discounting; delay discounting; cocaine dependence; contingency management; vouchers; treatment response
Immunotherapies in the form of vaccines (active immunization) or monoclonal antibodies (passive immunization) appear safe and a promising treatment approaches for some substance-related disorders. The mechanism of action of the antibody therapy is by preventing the rapid entry of drugs of abuse into the central nervous system. In theory, immunotherapies could have several clinical applications. Monoclonal antibodies may be useful to treat drug overdoses and prevent the neurotoxic effects of drugs by blocking the access of drugs to the brain. Vaccines may help to prevent the development of addiction, initiate drug abstinence in those already addicted to drugs, or prevent drug use relapse by reducing the pharmacological effects and rewarding properties of the drugs of abuse on the brain. Passive immunization with monoclonal antibodies has been investigated for cocaine, methamphetamine, nicotine, and phencyclidine (PCP). Active immunization with vaccines has been studied for cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, and nicotine. These immunotherapies seem promising therapeutic tools and are at different stages in their development before they can be approved by regulatory agencies for the treatment of substance-related disorders. The purpose of this article is to review the current immunotherapy approaches with emphasis on the risks and benefits for the treatment of these disorders.
immunotherapy; vaccine; drug abuse; treatment; cocaine; nicotine
Levo-tetrahydropalmatine (l-THP) is an active constituent of herbal preparations containing plant species of the genera Stephania and Corydalis and has been approved and used in China for a number of clinical indications under the drug name Rotundine. The pharmacological profile of l-THP, which includes antagonism of dopamine D1 and D2 receptors and actions at dopamine D3, alpha adrenergic and serotonin receptors, suggests that it may have utility for treating cocaine addiction. In this review, we provide an overview of the pharmacological properties of l-THP and the evidence supporting its development as an anti-addiction medication. The results of preclinical work demonstrating that l-THP attenuates cocaine’s reinforcing/rewarding effects and reinstatement in rat models of cocaine relapse are summarized, and the outcomes of studies demonstrating efficacy in human addicts are described. Finally, an overview of the safety profile of l-THP is provided and challenges associated with FDA approval of l-THP are discussed.
To evaluate the cost-effectiveness of using prize-based and voucher-based contingency management (CM) as additions to standard treatment for cocaine- or heroin-dependent outpatients in community treatment centers.
This cost-effectiveness analysis is based on a randomized clinical trial conducted at three community-based outpatient psychosocial substance abuse treatment clinics. A total of 142 cocaine- or heroin-dependent outpatients were randomly assigned to one of three treatment conditions: standard treatment (ST), ST with prizes (prize CM), or ST with vouchers (voucher CM) for 12 weeks. The primary patient outcome was the longest duration of confirmed abstinence (LDA) from cocaine, opioids and alcohol during treatment. Unit costs were collected from the three participating clinics. Resource utilizations and patient outcomes were obtained from the clinical trial. Incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs) and acceptability curves were used to evaluate the relative cost-effectiveness of the interventions.
Based on the ICERs and acceptability curves, ST is likely to be the most cost-effective intervention when the threshold value to decision makers of lengthening the LDA during treatment by 1 week is less than approximately $166, and prize CM is likely to be the most cost-effective intervention when the threshold value is greater than approximately $166.
Prize CM was found likely to be the most cost-effective intervention over a comparatively wide range of threshold values for lengthening the LDA during treatment by 1 week. However, additional studies with alternative incentive parameters are required to determine the generalizability of our results.
acceptability curves; contingency management; cost-effectiveness; prizes; vouchers
Alcohol dependence is a chronic disorder that results from a variety of genetic, psychosocial, and environmental factors. Relapse prevention for alcohol dependence has traditionally involved psychosocial and psychotherapeutic interventions. Pharmacotherapy, however, in conjunction with behavioral therapy, is generating interest as another modality to prevent relapse and enhance abstinence. Naltrexone and acamprosate are at the forefront of the currently available pharmacological options. Naltrexone is an opioid receptor antagonist and is thought to reduce the rewarding effect of alcohol. Acamprosate normalizes the dysregulation of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA)-mediated glutamatergic excitation that occurs in alcohol withdrawal and early abstinence. These different mechanisms of action and different target neurotransmitter systems may endow the two drugs with efficacy for different aspects of alcohol use behavior. Since not all patients seem to benefit from naltrexone and acamprosate, there are ongoing efforts to improve the treatment outcomes by examining the advantages of combined pharmacotherapy and exploring the variables that might predict the response of the medications. In addition, novel medications are being investigated to assess their efficacy in preventing relapse and increasing abstinence.
Alcohol dependence; pharmacotherapy; naltrexone; acamprosate
The dopamine precursor levodopa has shown some, albeit relatively weak, promise in treating cocaine dependence. This study sought to identify the most appropriate behavioral therapy platform for levodopa pharmacotherapy by evaluating its effect when administered in combination with behavioral platforms of varying intensities.
A total of 161 treatment-seeking cocaine dependent subjects received sustained release levodopa/carbidopa (400/100 mg bid, Sinemet) or placebo delivered in combination with Clinical Management (ClinMan); ClinMan+Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT); or ClinMan+CBT+Voucher-Based Reinforcement Therapy (VBRT) in a 12-week randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind (for medication condition) trial. Medication compliance was monitored with riboflavin (100 mg/capsule) and the Medication Event Monitoring System. Protocol compliance was addressed in weekly, 10-minute nurse-delivered ClinMan sessions. Weekly, 1-hour CBT sessions focused on coping skills training. VBRT (with escalating reinforcer value) provided cash-valued vouchers contingent on cocaine-negative urine toxicology results. Urine benzoylecgonine assays collected thrice-weekly were analyzed by intention-to-treat criteria using generalized linear mixed models.
Levodopa main effects were found on all outcome measures of cocaine use. Contrasts testing the levodopa-placebo difference within each behavioral platform found reliable effects, favoring levodopa, only in the VBRT platform. Levodopa treatment with vouchers produced higher proportions of cocaine-negative urines and longer periods of consecutive abstinence compared to other treatment combinations.
This is the first study to find a significant treatment effect for levodopa and, in doing so, to demonstrate that the magnitude of this effect is dependent upon conditions of the behavioral therapy platform. The data support use of levodopa with abstinence-based reinforcement therapy as one efficacious combination in cocaine dependence disorder treatment.
levodopa-carbidopa; cocaine treatment; contingency management; Voucher-Based Reinforcement Therapy; VBRT
Purpose of review
The aim is to compare and contrast psychological treatments for amphetamine and cocaine dependence.
Stimulant dependence, in the form of cocaine or amphetamine/methamphetamine dependence, is prevalent worldwide, and their ratio may vary across different countries and regions of countries. The treatment of stimulant disorders has greatly advanced in recent years, and scientific evaluation of behavioral therapies, using randomized clinical trials designs and a stage-wise approach, have demonstrated the safety and efficacy of interventions. Psychological interventions such as cognitive behavioral therapy and contingency management for cocaine and methamphetamines use disorders are well tolerated and moderately effective in achieving drug abstinence. There is evidence that contingency management interventions can help to improve retention in treatment and, in turn, other treatment outcomes. Although there are important differences in the neuropsychiatric and medical consequences of cocaine and amphetamine use disorders, there is currently no evidence for a differential treatment effect of any psychosocial treatment in the management of these disorders.
As there are no Food and Drug Administration-approved medications for the treatment of these disorders, psychological interventions form the basis of their treatment. More research is needed to address the specific psychosocial needs of cocaine and amphetamine-dependent individuals in order to improve their treatment outcomes.
amphetamine; behavioral; cocaine; methamphetamine; treatment
Drug addiction is a chronic illness characterized by high rates of relapse. Relapse to drug use can be triggered by re-exposure to drug-associated cues, stressful events, or the drug itself after a period of abstinence. Pharmacological intervention to reduce the impact of relapse-instigating factors offers a promising target for addiction treatment. Growing evidence has implicated an important role of the orexin/hypocretin system in drug reward and drug-seeking, including animal models of relapse. Here, we review the evidence for the role of orexins in modulating reward and drug-seeking in animal models of addiction and the potential for orexin receptors as specific targets for anti-relapse medication approaches.
addiction; hypocretin; orexin; reinstatement; relapse
When pharmacologic agents are considered in the treatment of cocaine addiction, the objective of such treatment--sustained abstinence--must be considered. Medication and medical approaches have been disappointing in the treatment of cocaine overdose. The central neurobiologic mechanism(s) involved in cocaine toxicity are poorly understood. Without a cocaine antagonist, pharmacologic approaches have been less than promising in preventing relapse. Various psychoactive medications have been tried in early cocaine abstinence, with some success.
To summarize published data on pharmacologic treatments for alcohol dependence alone and in combination with brief psychosocial therapies that may be feasible for primary care and specialty medical settings.
We conducted electronic searches of published original research articles and reviews in MEDLINE, SCOPUS, CINAHL, Embase, and PsychINFO. In addition, hand searches of reference lists of review articles, supplemental searches of internet references and contacts with experts in the field were conducted. Randomized controlled studies published between January, 1960 and August, 2010 that met our inclusion/exclusion criteria were included.
A total of 85 studies, representing 18,937 subjects, met our criteria for inclusion. The evidence base for oral naltrexone (6% more days abstinent than placebo in the largest study) and topiramate (prescribed off-label) (e.g., 26.2% more days abstinent than placebo in a recent study) is positive but modest. Acamprosate shows modest efficacy with recently abstinent patients, with European studies showing better results than US ones. The evidence-base for disulfiram is equivocal. Depot naltrexone shows efficacy (25% greater reduction in rate of heavy drinking vs. placebo, in one of the largest studies) in a limited number of studies. Some studies suggest that patients do better with extensive psychosocial treatments added to medications while others show that brief support can be equally effective.
Although treatment effects are modest, medications for alcohol dependence, in conjunction with either brief support or more extensive psychosocial therapy, can be effective in primary and specialty care medical settings.
Alcoholism; naltrexone; acamprosate; disulfiram; topiramate
Alcohol dependence comorbid with major depressive disorder poses a major challenge in the clinical setting. The results in the treatment with selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors have been conflicting. Thus, we compared in alcohol-dependent patients with co-morbid major depressive disorder the selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitor escitalopram to a compound that acts on different transporter system and may reduce craving, the glutamate receptor antagonist memantine.
Eighty alcohol-dependent patients comorbid with major depressive disorder in municipal alcohol clinics were randomized 1:1 to receive memantine 20 mg or escitalopram 20 mg in a double-blind manner. During the 26-week study period patients continued their routine treatment at the clinics. Abstinence was not required but encouraged. The patients attended visits weekly during the first month, and then at 3 and at 6 months. Outcome measures were Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT), Obsessive Compulsive Drinking Scale (OCDS) and Drinking Diary.
The completion rate was high in both groups, especially among the patients who had been abstinent at the beginning of the study. However, among those patients who were not abstinent at baseline, 47% in both groups discontinued the study. Numbers of abstinent days were high in both groups throughout the study. Alcohol consumption measured by the AUDIT QF (quantity-frequency) score was significantly reduced in both groups, as was the craving for alcohol measured by the OCDS. Early age at first alcohol intoxication predicted poor treatment outcomes in patients treated with escitalopram, and the same was seen with the early onset of the first depressive episode. The same predictive effects were not found in patients treated with memantine.
Our results indicate that both memantine and escitalopram are useful adjunct medications for the treatment of alcohol dependence co-morbid with major depression. Memantine was at least as effective with regard to drinking as escitalopram. We believe that a direct comparison of memantine, with the commonly used escitalopram, can provide useful information for clinicians on the treatment of alcohol dependency co-morbid with MDD.
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier # NCT00368862
Two males diagnosed with cocaine dependence received a behavioral intervention comprised of contingency management and the community reinforcement approach. During the initial phase of treatment, reinforcement was delivered contingent on submitting cocaine-free urine specimens. The community reinforcement approach involved two behavior therapy sessions each week. Almost complete cocaine abstinence was achieved, but regular marijuana use continued. During a second phase, reinforcement magnitude was reduced, but remained contingent on submitting cocaine-free specimens. Behavior therapy was reduced to once per week. Cocaine abstinence and regular marijuana use continued. Next, reinforcement was delivered contingent on submitting cocaine- and marijuana-free specimens. This modified contingency resulted in an abrupt increase in marijuana abstinence and maintenance of cocaine abstinence. One- and 5-month follow-ups indicated that cocaine abstinence continued, but marijuana smoking resumed. These results indicate that the behavioral intervention was efficacious in achieving abstinence from cocaine and marijuana; maintenance, however, was achieved for cocaine only.
(±)-Modafinil has piqued interest as a treatment for ADHD and stimulant dependence. The R-enantiomer of modafinil may have unique pharmacological properties that should be further investigated.
(±)-Modafinil and its R-(−)- and S-(+)-enantiomers were synthesized and tested for inhibition of [3H]DA uptake and [3H]WIN 35,428 binding in hDAT WT and mutants with altered conformational equilibria. Data were compared to cocaine and the atypical dopamine uptake inhibitor, JHW 007. R- and S-modafinil were also evaluated in microdialysis studies in the mouse NAc shell and in a cocaine discrimination procedure.
(±)-, R- and S-Modafinil bind to the DAT and inhibit dopamine uptake less potently than cocaine, with R-modafinil having ~3-fold higher affinity than its S-enantiomer. Molecular docking studies revealed subtle differences in binding modes for the enantiomers. R-modafinil was significantly less potent in the DAT Y156F mutant compared to wild-type DAT, whereas S-modafinil was affected less. Studies with the Y335A DAT mutant showed that the R- and S-enantiomers tolerated the inward facing conformation better than cocaine, which was further supported by MTSET reactivity on the DAT E2C I159C. Microdialysis studies demonstrated that both R- and S-modafinil produced increases in extracellular DA concentrations in the NAc shell less efficaciously than cocaine, and with a longer duration of action. Both enantiomers fully substituted in mice trained to discriminate cocaine from saline.
R-modafinil displays an in vitro profile different from cocaine. Future trials with R-modafinil as a substitute therapy with the potential benefit of cognitive enhancement for psychostimulant addiction are warranted.
dopamine transporter; cocaine; methamphetamine; addiction; microdialysis; abuse liability
A variety of neuropharmacological strategies are being pursued in the search for an effective treatment for methamphetamine addiction. In this study, we investigated the safety and potential efficacy of aripiprazole, an antipsychotic agent acting on both dopamine and serotonin systems. We conducted a double-blind inpatient clinical pharmacology study to assess potential interactions between intravenous (IV) methamphetamine (15mg and 30mg) and oral aripiprazole (15mg). In addition, the effects of aripiprazole treatment on abstinence related craving and cue-induced craving were evaluated. Participants included non-treatment seeking, methamphetamine dependent patients (N=16), 18-45 years of age, currently using methamphetamine. Following baseline methamphetamine dosing (15mg and 30mg), participants received 2 weeks of treatment with aripiprazole (n=8) or placebo (n=8). Participants then completed cue exposure sessions using neutral and methamphetamine-related cues. Methamphetamine dosing (15mg and 30mg) was then repeated. Aripiprazole treatment had no effect on cue-induced methamphetamine craving, or on daily baseline craving assessed over the course of medication treatment, though aripiprazole treatment was associated with increased craving independent of methamphetamine dosing. Aripiprazole treatment was associated with significantly higher ratings on ARCI subscales reflecting euphoria and amphetamine-like effects following methamphetamine dosing. Aripiprazole was treatment was also associated with significant reductions in ratings of “bad effects” and reductions on the ARCI subscale for sedation effects following methamphetamine dosing. Aripiprazole treatment reduced the increase in systolic blood pressure following methamphetamine dosing, but had no other effects on cardiovascular responses to methamphetamine. Aripiprazole treatment did not alter the pharmacokinetics of methamphetamine. These findings indicate that aripiprazole treatment appears to be safe in volunteers with methamphetamine dependence, though the finding that aripiprazole increased some of the rewarding and stimulatory effects produced by acute methamphetamine suggests that 15mg aripiprazole is unlikely to be efficacious for the treatment of methamphetamine dependence. Further research with lower doses of aripiprazole, possibly using study designs aimed at evaluating efficacy for relapse prevention, are needed before ruling out aripiprazole as a treatment for methamphetamine dependence.