A new drug approved by the FDA to treat epilepsy and migraine headaches may help people break their addiction to cocaine.
A study led by Bankole A. Johnson, DSc.,MD., MB.,ChB., MPhil and chairman od the department of Psychiatry at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, has found a possible new drug pharmacological treatment for cocaine addiction. This could be the first FDA approved treatment for cocaine abuse.
The New drug, called Topiramate, has also shown some promise in treating alcohol dependence but the most recent double blind study focused on its potential use in treating cocaine addicts.
During the study, Topiramate helped more of the 142 participants go longer without using cocaine and helped some go for a week or more without the need to use.
"Our findings reveal that topiramate is a safe and robustly efficacious medicine for the treatment of cocaine dependence, and has the potential to make a major contribution to the global health crisis of addiction," Professor Johnson said. "However, topiramate treatment also is associated with glaucoma, and higher doses of the drug can increase the risk of side effects; therefore, caution must be exercised when prescribing the drug, especially when given in high doses."
While there is still a great deal of work to be done, the new drug does show a great deal of promise for helping people beat their addiction to cocaine or alcohol. However the drug is not a fix all. It still requires the addict to make a conscious choice to start their recovery. No pill or injection can force someone to recover if they do not want to. In essence, the pill just makes it easier for an addict to go without cocaine or alcohol. The addict still has to make the right life choice to stop their addiction and prevent a relapse.