Thursday, December 8, 2011

Future of Treatment for Cocaine Dependence Promising

A review of the most recent human clinical trials of potential medications for treatment of cocaine dependence and the cocaine vaccine foretell a promising future. Daryl Shorter, M.D., of Baylor College of Medicine, and Thomas Kosten, M.D., of the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center, recently reviewed available treatments for cocaine dependence in the November 3 BMC Medicine, saying their work highlights the need for further, larger studies to determine optimal clinical usage. They believe future work may also confirm specific subgroups of patients for treatment response based on clinical characteristics, biomarkers, and pharmacogenetics.

"Specific barriers to developing better treatments," they wrote, "are clearly related to the overall challenges of getting industry support and U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval when no previous medication has been approved for cocaine dependence."

Kosten is the primary author of Cocaine and Methamphetamine Dependence: Advances in Treatment, a new book available from American Psychiatric Publishing. For more information on the cocaine vaccine, see Psychiatric News.



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