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Drugs to help with Cocaine Cravings

Aug 27, 2008 - 1 comments

Cocaine Addiction  
•  Gabapentin  •  Gamma-vinyl-gaba  •  Baclofen  •  N-acetylcysteine  •  Nocaine  •  Disulfiram  •  Modafinil
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GABAPENTIN OR GABITROL

What it does: an anticonvulsant which reduces cocaine use, makes cocaine cravings easier to overcome and relapses less severe.

How it works: increases brain GABA

Side effects: sedation

Availability: by prescription from physicians

J Clin Psychiatry 2004:65:84-86 Gabapentin Reduces Cocaine use Among Addicts From a Community Sample,Raby WN reprints ***@****.


GAMMA-VINYL-GABA (GVG) OR VIGABATRIN
What it does: an anti epileptic drug which reduces cocaine cravings.

How it works: increases the amount of the neurotransmitter GABA in
the brain.

Side effects: sleepiness and fatigue.

Availability: Vigabatrin isn't licensed in the USA but is available to people who live in Canada and other countries.

Further information about Vigabatrin can be found by typing in “Vigabatrin and Cocaine” in a search engine.

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BACLOFEN OR LIORESAL

What it does: a muscle relaxant found to curb cocaine cravings and reduce use of cocaine especially in chronic, heavy users.

How it works: increases the amount of GABA in the brain.

Side effects: drowsiness, weakness, fatigue, nausea, headache, constipation

Availability: by prescription from physicians.

J Clin Psychiatry 2003:64:1440-1448 Randomized Placebo-Controlled trial for Cocaine dependence Shoptaw,S etc- reprints ***@****. Baclofen plus substance abuse counseling significantly reduced cocaine use in recovering addicts compared to placebo plus counseling.


N-ACETYLCYSTEINE (NAC)
What it does: an amino acid that curbs cocaine cravings and repairs damage in the brain caused by cocaine use in animals. Human trials will begin
in 2004.

How it works: restores glutamate levels to normal in the area of the brain where addiction occurs.

Availability: over the counter.

For specific suggestions of other amino acids that can lessen cravings see nutrition in the Holistic Approaches section of this web site.

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NOCAINE
What it does: provides a weaker version of cocaine's effects.

How it works: blocks the stimulant effects of cocaine.

Side effects: unknown to us.

Availability: only by participating in research trials.

Information about clinical trials on cocaine can be found at ClinicalTrials.gov. Just enter the word cocaine in the "Search Clinical Trials" box.

DISULFIRAM (ANATBUSE)

What it does: It is an anti-alcoholic agent that makes drinking of alcohol or use of cocaine highly unpleasant.

How it works: It increases acetaldehyde in the blood.

Side effects: nausea and vomiting, sometimes very severe, if any alcohol or cocaine is used.  Other common side effects including rapid heart rate, difficulty breathing, low blood pressure, confusion and fainting.

Availability: by prescription from physicians

Recent research suggests that disulfiram (also known as Antabuse), a medication used to treat alcohol addiction, is effective in reducing cocaine abuse, especially in conjunction with cognitive behavioral therapy.  

Carroll KM, et al. "Efficacy of Disulfiram and Cognitive Behavior Therapy in Cocaine-Dependent Outpatients: A Randomized Placebo-Controlled Trial."  Archives of General Psychiatry. 61:264-272, 2004.

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MODAFINIL (PROVIGIL)

What it does: reduces high from cocaine and also reduces cocaine cravings

How it works: unknown... but it does increase glutamate in the brain

Side effects: most common side effects are headache, back pain nausea, nervousness, insomnia and anxiety.

Availability: by prescription from physicians

Warning: it is a schedule 4 drug so there is some potential for addiction to it

Dackis CA, Kampman KM, Lynch KG, Pettinati HM,O'Brien CP. "A double blind, placebo controlled trial of modafinil for cocaine dependence." Neuropsychopharmacology. 30: 205-211, 2005.

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by greatfullyrecovering51483, Nov 04, 2010
Thank you soo much for this post!!! I am currently married to someone who has a serious cocaine problem. While I am in recovery myself for another substance, it breaks my heart to see someone have such a hard time! I am on suboxone for my cravings and thank God everyday that I have this in my recovery tool box! I am so pleased to see that there might be a medication that can help him like the suboxone helps me! Even though it takes more than a "drug" to help people like us, its just nice to have something to help us get on the right track and give us a shot to look at the real problem of our addictions! Thanks again!



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