Nicotine, donepezil, and other drugs that act on the same brain pathways may one day help treat craving symptoms in individuals who are dependent on methamphetamine, research by a team of Japanese researchers suggests.
The scientists, who were studying the molecular and neurological basis of methamphetamine craving, found that nicotine and donepezil suppress cravinglike behavior in methamphetamine-dependent rats by reactivating brain activity that had been inactivated by repeated use of the drug (Hiranita T et al. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2006;103:8523-8527). The findings suggest that donepezil (used to treat Alzheimer disease) and nicotine replacement therapies might help control craving in patients being treated for drug addiction.
Kuehn BM. Nicotine, Donepezil May Dampen Meth Craving. JAMA. 2006;296(1):31. doi:10.1001/jama.296.1.31