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Potential cocaine treatments
05-19-16 Category: Research, Substance Abuse, Treatment

Potential cocaine treatments

The Centers for Disease and Control Prevention report cocaine-related deaths spiked 12 percent at last count. Currently there are no Federal Drug Administration approved medications for cocaine dependency, but there are a number of clinical trials testing potential medications that may soon help stem the tide of cocaine addiction and overdose.

Potential cocaine treatments

  1. 1. Cocaine vaccine. The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) explains the goal of cocaine vaccine as using the body’s immune system to bind to the cocaine molecules and inhibit its effects.The ASAM points to two human trials that had conflicting results, suggesting a vaccine loophole. Some of the best responding-subjects also had more cocaine use. ASAM believes that addicts simply took more cocaine to override the vaccine’s negating effects.In a study released just this year out of University of Texas medical branch, scientists developed a cocaine vaccine they say plugs the previous loopholes.Postdoctoral fellow and study author Rajagopal Appavu said his team was able to fine tune the fortitude of the cocaine antibodies.
  2. 2. Vigabatrin. This is a primary treatment for managing infantile spasms and a secondary treatment for adult epilepsy. Vigabatrin is reportedly on a “Fast Track” FDA approval status for treating cocaine addiction.  It works similar to a stomach Lap-Band in that it narrows neurotransmitter GABA – gamma-aminobutyric acid – thereby permitting less dopamine to flow in the brain.
  3. 3. Gabapentin. This epileptic medication also used for alcohol withdrawal, pain issues and mood disorders. It was also offered to remedy cocaine addiction but took a back seat after 2004 reports of inmates with a history of cocaine use abusing the medication to get high.
  4. 4. N-acetylcysteine (NAC). This is an amino acid and a building block of glutathione, a powerful antioxidant in the body. Though many studies tout its efficacy, a 2013 study explains NAC may thwart relapse only among newly recovered cocaine addicts. However, NAC can be purchased as a supplement, and because most supplements aren’t FDA-regulated, it will likely not see daylight as a federal antidote.
  5. 5. Propanolol. A blood pressure medication that works by inhibiting effects of adrenaline, it’s been shown to reduce anxiety, cravings and palpitation effects in newly clean cocaine users. However the National Institutes on Drug Abuse warn that “treatment outcomes in propranolol-treated subjects were still far from optimal. Additional medication or more intense counseling may be needed to treat such patients effectively.”
  6. 6. Disulfiram. It’s also known as Antabuse and typically treats alcohol addiction. For cocaine addiction, it appears to inhibit a dopamine enzyme from converting in the brain for users with normal enzyme levels but not for those an enzyme imbalance.
  7. 7. Baclofen. The drug is traditionally used to prevent spasms in patients with neurological disorders and spinal cord injuries. Researchers discovered Baclofen can intercept the brain’s response to drug triggers before cravings even begin. However, in patients who relapsed and not one experienced any difference in their high.
  8. 8. Modafinil. This stimulant is approved for treating narcolepsy and other sleep disorders. Further research has proven it also mitigates cravings for cocaine and delays addiction-related impulsivity. However, a 2007 analysis concluded, Modafinil, had not performed better than a placebo for treating cocaine addiction.
  9. 9. Topiramate. This is another antiepileptic drug that promised treatment for cocaine addiction. The Side effects include glaucoma and thus, higher doses are cautioned.

Though much research has and is being conducted, firming up cocaine treatment is still to come. Until then, The Sovereign Health Group utilizes proven and cutting-edge treatments to rehabilitate those with issues of addiction and mental disorder. Call our 24/7 helpline for details.

About the author

Sovereign Health Group staff writer Kristin Currin-Sheehan is a mindful spirit swimming in metaphysical pools with faith as her compass. Her cover: a 30s-something Cinderella breadwinner of an all-sport blended family. Her repertoire includes writing poetry, lifestyle articles and TV news; editing, radio production and on-camera reporting. For more information and other inquiries about this media, contact the author at

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