mechanisms of disulfiram-induced cocaine abstinence: antabuse and cocaine relapse.
Author(s): Gaval-Cruz M, Weinshenker D
Affiliation(s): Department of Human Genetics, Emory University School of Medicine, Whitehead 301, 615 Michael St, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA.
Publication date & source: 2009-08, Mol Interv., 9(4):175-87.
Publication type: Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural; Review
The anti-alcoholism drug disulfiram (Antabuse), which is an inhibitor of aldehyde dehydrogenase, induces an aversive reaction to alcohol consumption and thereby helps patients reduce alcohol intake. Recent clinical trials, initiated to investigate whether disulfiram could be used to treat individuals who abuse both alcohol and cocaine, have indicated that disulfiram effectively decreases cocaine consumption. Yet the ability of disulfiram to curb cocaine intake cannot be explained by the disruption of ethanol metabolism. Here, we synthesize clinical and animal data that point to dopamine beta-hydroxylase inhibition as a mechanism underlying the efficacy of disulfiram in the treatment of cocaine dependence.