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Two-drug combo may help fight stimulant addiction

In the first stage, patients (18-65 years old) were divided into two groups. One was given a combination therapy containing naltrexone shots every 3 weeks with a daily dose of bupropion. Other groups were given placebo shots and pills.

Urine drug screening was performed four times at each stage. Patients in the placebo group who did not improve by week 6 were rolled over to stage 2 and randomly reassigned to either the new treatment group or another placebo group.

Success was defined as 3 out of 4 clean drug screenings.

At weeks 5 and 6, nearly 17% of patients in the combination therapy group met that threshold, compared to 3% in the placebo group. By the 11th and 12th week, these numbers were about 11%, but less than 2%. And the researchers reported that this treatment significantly reduced cravings and improved quality of life without serious side effects.

Naltrexone and bupropion are not certain. The team predicts that only one out of every nine patients treated will succeed.

Also, because naltrexone is not generic, “if this treatment is approved, it can cost some money,” Volkow said.However, “The social costs surrounding methamphetamine addiction are [also] It’s rising high. ”

Perhaps while the study continues, “these drugs will be used” off-label “by doctors to treat patients with methamphetamine addiction,” Volkow said.

The research is terribly needed, warned Linda Richter, vice president of preventive research and analysis in a partnership to end addiction in New York City.

“The overall effect was positive, but small,” Richter said. “The study period and sample size are limited, and the question remains whether the use of drug therapy in combination with behavioral therapy enhances its effectiveness.”

Nevertheless, if further studies are equally positive, she said, “drug combinations should be widely available and covered by public and private insurance.”

Research results on January 14th The New England Journal of Medicine.

For more information

The National Institute on Drug Abuse has more details on stimulant abuse.

Source: Nora D. Volkow, MD, Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Bethesda, Maryland; Linda Richter, PhD, Vice President, Preventive Research and Analysis, Partnership to End Addiction, New York City. New England Journal of Medicine, January 14, 2021

Two-drug combo may help fight stimulant addiction

Source link Two-drug combo may help fight stimulant addiction

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