Researchers from New York University School of Medicine and Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, New York, report this week in the online version of the journal Synapse that a small, preliminary clinical trial conducted in Mexico showed this drug could cut cocaine use dramatically in people who had used cocaine daily for at least 3 years.
"GVG reduces levels of dopamine, the 'feel-good' chemical that floods the brains of cocaine users, providing the 'high' they crave," says Dr. Frank Vocci, Director, Division of Treatment Research and Development, National Institute on Drug Abuse. "Using GVG to temper the dopamine system may very effectively block the addiction-related effects of cocaine."
A total of 19 men and 1 woman entered the study. Eight people completed the trial in which they received escalating doses of GVG for the first week until they reached the highest dose of 4 grams per day. "At the time the paper was written these eight people had remained drug free for 4658 days," notes Dr. Jonathan Brodie, the Marvin Stern professor of psychiatry at NYU and lead author of the study. "All eight of these subjects have remained clean for at least another 4 weeks despite no longer being on GVG and have indicated that craving has not returned," he adds. "Hence, they have all been drug free for a minimum of 74 days and counting."
"This preliminary finding has important implications for our medications development program," says NIDA Director Dr. Nora D. Volkow.
The eight people who completed the study said their craving for the drug was eliminated after 23 weeks of continuous GVG administration, the authors report. In addition, those who completed the trial also showed improved self-esteem, reestablished
Contact: Michelle Person
NIH/National Institute on Drug Abuse