Dennis Weis

Lutheran Medical Center, Brooklyn, New York, United States

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Publications (5)25.03 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: As reported previously, 140 methamphetamine-dependent participants at eight medical centers in the U.S. were assigned randomly to receive topiramate (N=69) or placebo (N=71) in a 13-week clinical trial. The study found that topiramate did not appear to reduce methamphetamine use significantly for the primary outcome (i.e., weekly abstinence from methamphetamine in weeks 6-12). Given that the treatment responses varied considerably among subjects, the objective of this study was to identify the heterogeneous treatment effect of topiramate and determine whether topiramate could reduce methamphetamine use effectively in a subgroup of subjects. METHODS: Latent variable analysis was used for the primary and secondary outcomes during weeks 6-12 and 1-12, adjusting for age, sex, and ethnicity. RESULTS: Our analysis of the primary outcome identified 30 subjects as responders, who either reduced methamphetamine use consistently over time or achieved abstinence. Moreover, topiramate recipients had a significantly steeper slope in methamphetamine reduction and accelerated to abstinence faster than placebo recipients. For the secondary outcomes in weeks 6-12, we identified 40 subjects as responders (who had significant reductions in methamphetamine use) and 65 as non-responders; topiramate recipients were more than twice as likely as placebo recipients to be responders (odds ratio=2.67; p=0.019). Separate analyses of the outcomes during weeks 1-12 yielded similar results. CONCLUSIONS: Methamphetamine users appear to respond to topiramate treatment differentially. Our findings show an effect of topiramate on the increasing trend of abstinence from methamphetamine, suggesting that a tailored intervention strategy is needed for treating methamphetamine addiction.
    Drug and alcohol dependence 11/2012; · 3.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT:   Topiramate has shown efficacy at facilitating abstinence from alcohol and cocaine abuse. This double-blind, placebo-controlled out-patient trial tested topiramate for treating methamphetamine addiction.   Participants (n = 140) were randomized to receive topiramate or placebo (13 weeks) in escalating doses from 25 mg/day [DOSAGE ERROR CORRECTED] to the target maintenance of 200 mg/day in weeks 6-12 (tapered in week 13). Medication was combined with weekly brief behavioral compliance enhancement treatment.   The trial was conducted at eight medical centers in the United States.   One hundred and forty methamphetamine-dependent adults took part in the trial.   The primary outcome was abstinence from methamphetamine during weeks 6-12. Secondary outcomes included use reduction versus baseline, as well as psychosocial variables.   In the intent-to-treat analysis, topiramate did not increase abstinence from methamphetamine during weeks 6-12. For secondary outcomes, topiramate reduced weekly median urine methamphetamine levels and observer-rated severity of dependence scores significantly. Subjects with negative urine before randomization (n = 26) had significantly greater abstinence on topiramate versus placebo during study weeks 6-12. Topiramate was safe and well tolerated.   Topiramate does not appear to promote abstinence in methamphetamine users but can reduce the amount taken and reduce relapse rates in those who are already abstinent.
    Addiction 12/2011; 107(7):1297-306. · 4.58 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Modafinil was tested for efficacy in decreasing use in methamphetamine-dependent participants, compared to placebo. This was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, with 12 weeks of treatment and a 4-week follow-up. Eight outpatient substance abuse treatment clinics participated in the study. There were 210 treatment-seekers randomized, who all had a DSM-IV diagnosis of methamphetamine dependence; 68 participants to placebo, 72 to modafinil 200mg, and 70 to modafinil 400mg, taken once daily on awakening. Participants came to the clinic three times per week for assessments, urine drug screens, and group psychotherapy. The primary outcome measure was a methamphetamine non-use week, which required all the week's qualitative urine drug screens to be negative for methamphetamine. Regression analysis showed no significant difference between either modafinil group (200 or 400mg) or placebo in change in weekly percentage having a methamphetamine non-use week over the 12-week treatment period (p=0.53). Similarly, a number of secondary outcomes did not show significant effects of modafinil. However, an ad-hoc analysis of medication compliance, by urinalysis for modafinil and its metabolite, did find a significant difference in maximum duration of abstinence (23 days vs. 10 days, p=0.003), between those having the top quartile of compliance (>85% of urines were positive for modafinil, N=36), and the lower three quartiles of modafinil 200 and 400mg groups (N=106). Although these data suggest that modafinil, plus group behavioral therapy, was not effective for decreasing methamphetamine use, the study is probably inconclusive because of inadequate compliance with taking medication.
    Drug and alcohol dependence 08/2011; 120(1-3):135-41. · 3.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Bupropion was tested for efficacy in increasing weeks of abstinence in methamphetamine-dependent patients, compared to placebo. This was a double-blind placebo-controlled study, with 12 weeks of treatment and a 30-day follow-up. Five outpatient substance abuse treatment clinics located west of the Mississippi participated in the study. One hundred and fifty-one treatment-seekers with DSM-IV diagnosis of methamphetamine dependence were consented and enrolled. Seventy-two participants were randomized to placebo and 79 to sustained-release bupropion 150 mg twice daily. Patients were asked to come to the clinic three times per week for assessments, urine drug screens, and 90-min group psychotherapy. The primary outcome was the change in proportion of participants having a methamphetamine-free week. Secondary outcomes included: urine for quantitative methamphetamine, self-report of methamphetamine use, subgroup analyses of balancing factors and comorbid conditions, addiction severity, craving, risk behaviors for HIV, and use of other substances. The generalized estimating equation regression analysis showed that, overall, the difference between bupropion and placebo groups in the probability of a non-use week over the 12-week treatment period was not statistically significant (p=0.09). Mixed model regression was used to allow adjustment for baseline factors in addition to those measured (site, gender, level of baseline use, and level of symptoms of depression). This subgroup analysis showed that bupropion had a significant effect compared to placebo, among male patients who had a lower level of methamphetamine use at baseline (p<0.0001). Comorbid depression and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder did not change the outcome. These data suggest that bupropion, in combination with behavioral group therapy, was effective for increasing the number of weeks of abstinence in participants with low-to-moderate methamphetamine dependence, mainly male patients, regardless of their comorbid condition.
    Neuropsychopharmacology 05/2008; 33(5):1162-70. · 8.68 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In order to increase the number of investigative teams and sites conducting research on pharmacological treatments for methamphetamine use disorders, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) established an infrastructure of clinical sites in areas where methamphetamine addiction is prevalent. This multi-site infrastructure would serve to run multiple Phases II and III protocols effectively and expeditiously. NIDA collaborated with investigators from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) to set up the Methamphetamine Clinical Trials Group (MCTG). This paper describes the development process, as well as data from a test trial to assess the capability of research-naive sites to recruit research participants and conduct study procedures according to research protocol. Subsequent trials are also described. A total of 151 candidates signed consent; 65 individuals were enrolled and 35 (53.8%) completed the 12 weeks' behavioral trial. Self-reported substance use report (SUR) showed comparable use of methamphetamine across sites with the individual site means ranging from 59% (site 5) to 80% (site 3). Drug use as measured by urinalysis was greatly reduced at week 13 compared to the baseline measure; the average rate of methamphetamine-free urine samples across all participants in sites at week 13 was 53%. The highest percentage of methamphetamine-free samples was 85% at site 5; the lowest was at site 1 (40%). Addiction severity index (ASI) composite scores at baseline and protocol completion for all participants demonstrated improvement in all categories over time, except for the medical composite score. The largest composite score reduction in baseline-protocol completion was in the drug domain (0.23 versus 0.15). The changes in the ASI scores from baseline to week 13 were consistent across all five sites. Outcomes of the behavioral trial indicated that the MCTG recruited well; collected study data accurately and reliably; and created a vehicle that can assess promising pharmacotherapies for methamphetamine addiction treatment medications. The MCTG strategy appears to be a feasible approach to increase NIDA's capacity to conduct clinical trials to evaluate potential pharmacotherapies for methamphetamine addiction.
    Addiction 05/2007; 102 Suppl 1:107-13. · 4.58 Impact Factor