Treatment for methaqualone dependence in adults - art. no. CD004146.pub2

S.A. Cochrane Centre and Alcohol and Drug Research Group, Medical Research Council,, P.O. Box 19070, Tygerberg, Cape Town, W. Cape, South Africa, 7505.
Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online) (Impact Factor: 6.03). 02/2005; DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD004146.pub2
Source: PubMed


Methaqualone is a potent quinazoline, a class of sedative-hypnotics, that has a high potential for abuse. While the oral use of methaqualone (Quaalude, Mandrax) has waned in western countries since the mid-late 1980's, the practice of smoking methaqualone is a serious public health problem in South Africa, other parts of Africa and India. In the context of diminishing resources devoted to substance abuse treatment in regions affected by methaqualone abuse, it would be desirable to base treatment on the best evidence available. This review aimed to provide health care workers, policy-makers and consumers with the necessary information to make decisions regarding effective treatment of this highly dependence-producing drug.
To compare the effectiveness of any type of pharmacological or behavioural treatment administered in either an in-patient or out-patient setting compared with either a placebo or no treatment or a waiting list, or with another form of treatment administered in either an in- or out-patient setting.
The authors searched the following databases: Cochrane Drugs and Alcohol Group'Register of Trials (February 2004); Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL-The Cochrane Library, Issue 2, 2004); MEDLINE (OVID - January 1966 to february 2004), PsycInfo (OVID - January 1967 to february 2004). Relevant conference proceedings and reference lists of relevant articles were hand-searched. Broad internet searches were conducted and contact made with experts in the field.
All randomised controlled trials and quasi-randomised trials of the effectiveness of treatment programmes (in- or out-patient) for methaqualone dependence and abuse were considered for inclusion in this review.
The authors independently assessed study eligibility and quality.
No studies were found that met the inclusion criteria.
To date, no randomized controlled trials appear to have been conducted. Consequently, the effectiveness of inpatient versus outpatient treatment, psychosocial treatment versus no treatment, and pharmacological treatments versus placebo for methaqualone abuse or dependence has yet to be established.

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    • "These problems led to the implementation of tighter regulation of the drug, and by the mid- 1980s, it had been withdrawn from most markets (Carroll and Gallo, 1985; Gass, 2008). Nevertheless, recreational use of illegally produced methaqualone still constitutes a substantial health problem in some parts of the world (Parry et al., 2004; McCarthy et al., 2005). "
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