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A medication screening trial evaluation of reserpine, gabapentin and lamotrigine pharmacotherapy of cocaine dependence.

Author(s): Berger SP, Winhusen TM, Somoza EC, Harrer JM, Mezinskis JP, Leiderman DB, Montgomery MA, Goldsmith RJ, Bloch DA, Singal BM, Elkashef A

Affiliation(s): Cincinnati VA/UC NIDA MDRU, VA Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH, USA. bergerp@ohsu.edu

Publication date & source: 2005-03, Addiction., 100 Suppl 1:58-67.

Publication type: Clinical Trial; Randomized Controlled Trial

AIMS: To conduct a preliminary evaluation of the safety and efficacy of reserpine, gabapentin or lamotrigine versus an unmatched placebo control as a treatment for cocaine dependence. DESIGN: A 10-week out-patient study using the Cocaine Rapid Efficacy and Safety Trial (CREST) study design. SETTING: The study was conducted at the Cincinnati Medication Development Research Unit (MDRU). PARTICIPANTS: Participants met Diagnostic and Statistical Manual version IV (DSM-IV) criteria for cocaine dependence. Sixty participants were enrolled, with 50 participants completing the final study measures. INTERVENTION: The targeted daily doses of medication were reserpine 0.5 mg, gabapentin 1800 mg and lamotrigine 150 mg. All participants received 1 hour of manualized individual cognitive behavioral therapy on a weekly basis. MEASUREMENTS: Primary outcome measures of efficacy included urine benzoylecgonine (BE) level, Cocaine Clinical Global Impression scale--observer and self-report of cocaine use. Safety measures included adverse events, electrocardiograms (ECGs), vital signs and laboratory tests. FINDINGS: Subjective measures of cocaine dependence indicated significant improvement for all study groups. Urine BE results indicated a significant improvement for the reserpine group (P < 0.05) and non-significant changes for the other study groups. No pattern of physical or laboratory abnormalities attributable to treatment with any of the medications was identified. There were three serious adverse events reported, none of which were related to study procedures. The medications appeared to be tolerated well. CONCLUSIONS: The present findings suggest that reserpine may be worthy of further study as a cocaine dependence treatment.

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