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Original Research

Gabapentin in the Treatment of Cocaine Dependence: A Case Series

Hugh Myrick, Scott Henderson, Kathleen T. Brady, and Robert Malcolm

Published: January 1, 2001

Article Abstract

Background: Although multiple medications havebeen studied for the treatment of cocaine dependence, nomedication has been shown to have a robust effect on craving anduse. This pilot project was designed to evaluate the safety andtolerability of gabapentin in subjects with cocaine dependence.

Method: Thirty cocaine-dependent subjects(DSM-IV criteria) were enrolled in an 8-week, open-label trial of1200 mg/day of gabapentin in divided doses. Urine drug screens,subjective measures of craving, and cocaine use interviews wereconducted at each weekly visit.

Results: Baseline rating of amount and frequencyof craving decreased significantly by week 8 (78% vs. 25% foramount, p = .000; 74% vs. 23% for frequency, p = .004). Positiveurine drug screens for cocaine decreased from 86% at baseline to29% at weeks 4 and 8. There were no reports of significant sideeffects or adverse events.

Conclusion: This pilot study indicates thatgabapentin is safe and well tolerated and may be beneficial inthe treatment of cocaine dependence. A placebo-controlled trialwould be of interest.

Volume: 62

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