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Medical News & Perspectives
December 23 2009

Scientists Target Cocaine Addiction

JAMA. 2009;302(24):2641-2642. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.1837

While effective medications for addictions to opioids or alcohol have been available for decades, clinicians must rely on behavioral therapies to treat patients who are addicted to cocaine. But that may soon change because several experimental treatments have demonstrated promise in helping curtail cocaine use in patients or in animal models of cocaine addiction.

Results from an early clinical trial of a vaccine for cocaine addiction, published in October, showed that patients who achieved sufficient antibody levels reduced their cocaine use. Later that month, scientists presented data at the Society for Neuroscience's annual meeting showing that in animal models of cocaine addiction an antibiotic and a drug used to treat acetaminophen overdose can help to normalize brain function and prevent relapse to cocaine-seeking behavior.

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