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New Study Shows Promise For First Effective Medicine To Treat Cocaine Dependence
Date:10/28/2013

BALTIMORE, Oct. 28, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- New research published in JAMA Psychiatry reveals that topiramate, a drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat epilepsy and migraine headaches, also could be the first reliable medication to help treat cocaine dependence.  

The study, led by Bankole A. Johnson, DSc. MD., MB.ChB., MPhil., chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and head of the School's new Brain Science Research Consortium Unit, with support from the National Institutes of Health and Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, is one of the first to establish a pharmacological treatment for cocaine addiction, for which there are currently no FDA-approved medications.

Addiction affects 13.2 to 19.7 million cocaine users worldwide. Cocaine is responsible for more U.S. emergency room visits than any other illegal drug. Cocaine harms the brain, heart, blood vessels, and lungs -- and can even cause sudden death.

Professor Johnson, one of the nation's leading neuroscientists and psychopharmacologists, had previously found that topiramate was a safe and effective treatment for alcohol dependence compared with placebo.

In releasing the new study, Professor Johnson, who conducted the research when he was with Department of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences at the University of Virginia, provided full disclosures, which follow the text of this news announcement.*

The study enrolled 142 participants, aged 18 years or older, seeking treatment for cocaine dependence. Following enrollment, participants were randomly assigned into a topiramate group or placebo group. Neither the participants nor the healthcare professionals administering the treatment knew who was in which group (double-blinded study). 

Using an intent-to-treat analysis, the researcher
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SOURCE University of Maryland School of Medicine
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