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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Treating Cocaine Addiction With Epilepsy Medication

There are no medications approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat cocaine addiction, Science Daily reports. Although, a new study has found that the drug topiramate, an epilepsy and migraine medication, may help in the treatment for cocaine dependence.

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.
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