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A new pharmacotherapy for cocaine addiction has promising results

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A new pharmacotherapy for Cocaine Addiction

New FDA approved treatment is now available for cocaine addiction. According to a study published in Biological Psychiatry, researchers at Columbia University and New York State Psychiatric Institute, are confident that the new treatment regimen that includes amphetamine and topiramate, may help cocaine addicts. Cocaine addiction refers to the psychological need to consume the drug. Although initially is associated with pleasure and euphoria, regular consumption of cocaine has devastating effects on the body. Cocaine addicts have behavioral disorders, tachycardia, hypertension, paranoia, insomnia. Finally, there is psychological dependence and the entire behavior will focus on drug procurement. There are a number of symptoms for those  who seek treatment also, such as depression, fatigue, irritability, insomnia, all part of the abstinence syndrome.



Over time many pharmacotherapies have been tested, but none seems to have good results. Cocaine addiction likely require a multidisciplinary approach and a combination of several drugs as it is in cancer, heart disease or AIDS treatment.
The researchers assumed that stimulants like amphetamine, methylphenidate, and modafinil, are able to reduce the reward and cognitive deficits that occur in addiction. This assumption confirms the concept of self medication which is used in the treatment of addiction and which says that there can be used drugs to treat addiction effects.

Topiramate, included in the new drug regimen, is considered the most effective in the treatment of alcohol dependence. Originally used as an anticonvulsant (Lennox Gastaut syndrome), topiramate has been investigated and used for other conditions such as drug addiction, alcohol, obesity, migraine, binge eating. It is not clear how this drug works in treating alcohol dependence, but experiments in laboratory animals gave positive results. Recent studies have shown that it can reduce the intensity of methamphetamine use.

Researchers have mixed amphetamine salts and topiramate for treating cocaine addiction. Then they tested to see if this combination is effective in adults who wanted to cure their drug addiction. A double-bind study was conducted in which participants received either the combination treatment or a placebo for twelve weeks. It was found that this combination treatment had the greatest effect on those who used to consume large doses of cocaine. The researchers noted that amphetamine and topiramate combination helped the patients to get three weeks of continuous abstinence from cocaine. Although the results of this study were encouraging, researchers now believe that this treatment regimen needs to be tested in a larger, multicenter clinical trial.