Drug treatment could curb methamphetamine addiction

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News photo: Drug treatment could curb methamphetamine addictionBy Carole Tanzer Miller HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, June 10, 2024 (HealthDay News) — Although overdose deaths continue to rise, there are no medications approved to treat methamphetamine use disorder.

Now, an experimental dual therapy has shown promising results, UCLA researchers report.

“These findings have important implications for the pharmacological treatment of methamphetamine use disorder,” said researcher Michael Li, assistant professor in residence of family medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, adding that methamphetamine-related overdoses have increased. .

His team published its findings on June 10 in the journal Addiction.

In urine tests for methamphetamine, drug-free results increased by 27% among participants who received a combination of injectable naltrexone and extended-release oral buproprion. Negative tests only increased by 11% in a control group.

Methamphetamine abuse is a growing problem worldwide, with an estimated 34 million users in 2020, up from 33 million ten years earlier. In the United States alone, overdose deaths increased fivefold between 2012 and 2018.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse’s Clinical Trials Network has supported various trials, including this one, aimed at evaluating different treatments for methamphetamine use disorder.

This trial, known as ADAPT-2, ran from May 2017 to July 2019 at eight sites. More than 400 participants were included, including 109 who received the experimental drug treatment during the first phase. This demonstrated that the combo worked for six weeks.

The new results come from the second phase of the trial, which covered a longer period. Participants were drug tested at weeks 7 and 12 and again, after treatment, at weeks 13 and 16.

While their results are encouraging, the researchers said more study is needed to know whether the treatment lasts longer than 12 weeks and leads to further reductions in drug use.

“Previous trials in the treatment of stimulant use disorders suggest that change in use is gradual (consistent with our results), unlikely to result in sustained abstinence in a typical trial of 12 weeks and depends on the duration of treatment,” the researchers said in a UCLA press release. . “This warrants future clinical trials to quantify changes in (methamphetamine) use beyond 12 weeks and to identify the optimal duration of treatment with this medication.”

More information

The National Institute on Drug Abuse has more about methamphetamine use disorder.

SOURCE: UCLA, press release, June 10, 2024

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