Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Treating Cocaine Addiction With Epilepsy Medication
Dr. Bankole A. Johnson of the University of Maryland School of Medicine conducted an earlier study, which found topiramate to be a safe and effective treatment for alcohol dependence.
The new study published in July 2013, included 142 adults seeking treatment for cocaine dependence. Test subjects were randomly given either topiramate or a placebo. Those who received topiramate, researchers found, had an increased likelihood of staying cocaine-free for weeks. Furthermore, they found that topiramate decreased cocaine craving, and improved overall functioning.
“Our findings reveal that topiramate is a safe and robustly efficacious medicine for the treatment of cocaine dependence, and has the potential to make a major contribution to the global health crisis of addiction,” Dr. Johnson said in a news release. “However, topiramate treatment also is associated with glaucoma, and higher doses of the drug can increase the risk of side effects; therefore, caution must be exercised when prescribing the drug, especially when given in high doses.”
Side effects of the drug included: abnormal tingling skin sensations, taste distortions, anorexia, and difficulty concentrating.
The new study was published in JAMA Psychiatry.