A controlled trial of flumazenil and gabapentin for initial treatment of methylamphetamine dependence.
Author(s): Urschel HC 3rd, Hanselka LL, Baron M
Affiliation(s): Research Across America, CNS Research Group, Dallas, TX, USA. email@example.com
Publication date & source: 2011-02, J Psychopharmacol., 25(2):254-62. Epub 2009 Nov 25.
Publication type: Randomized Controlled Trial; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
Drug use has been associated with craving, which may be described as a powerful and sometimes overwhelming urge to use the drug. Patients seeking treatment for methylamphetamine dependence must cope with drug cravings as they engage in psychosocial treatments. Changes in brain GABA(A) receptors during substance use and withdrawal provide a neurobiological basis for craving and associated anxiety. Flumazenil (a benzodiazepine antagonist) plus gabapentin (an antiepileptic) were compared with placebo in a randomized, double-blind study to assess the effects on craving during initial treatment for methylamphetamine dependence. Evaluation was conducted over a 30-day period. Craving and drug use were found to be highly correlated. Craving was reduced significantly in the flumazenil plus gabapentin group compared with placebo following the initial treatment period and throughout the 30 days. Decreased methylamphetamine use was also observed, as measured by urine drug screens and self-reports.