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Medical News and Perspectives
July 5, 2006

Nicotine, Donepezil May Dampen Meth Craving

JAMA. 2006;296(1):31. doi:10.1001/jama.296.1.31

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.

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