Thorne Sparkman

Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

Are you Thorne Sparkman?

Claim your profile

Publications (13)31.91 Total impact

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This is a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of modafinil treatment for cocaine dependence. Patients (N = 210) who were actively using cocaine at baseline were randomized to 8 weeks of modafinil (0 mg/day, 200 mg/day, or 400 mg/day) combined with once-weekly cognitive-behavioral therapy. Our primary efficacy measure was cocaine abstinence, based on urine benzoylecgonine (BE) levels, with secondary measures of craving, cocaine withdrawal, retention, and tolerability. We found no significant differences between modafinil and placebo patients on any of these measures. However, there was a significant gender difference in that male patients treated with 400 mg/day tended to be more abstinent than their placebo-treated counterparts (p = .06). Our negative findings might be explained by gender differences and/or inadequate psychosocial treatment intensity in patients with severe cocaine dependence.
    Journal of substance abuse treatment 02/2012; 43(3):303-12. · 2.90 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Acamprosate is a medication shown to be effective for the treatment of alcohol dependence. Although the exact mechanism of action of acamprosate is unknown, evidence suggests that it decreases excitatory amino acid activity by post-synaptic inhibition of the NMDA subtype of glutamate receptors. It is possible that the activity of acamprosate via modulating glutamatergic activity could also reduce craving for cocaine and impact abstinence in cocaine dependence. Therefore, we conducted a double-blind placebo-controlled pilot trial of acamprosate for the treatment of cocaine dependence. Sixty male and female cocaine dependent patients were included in a nine week double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. After a one-week baseline, patients were randomized to receive acamprosate 666 mg three times daily or identical placebo tablets for eight weeks. The primary outcome measure was cocaine use as determined by twice weekly urine drug screens. Thirty-six patients (60%) completed the trial, with no significant between-group difference in treatment retention. Percent cocaine positive urine drug screens did not differ between the two groups. Acamprosate was no better than placebo in reducing cocaine craving, reducing cocaine withdrawal symptoms, or improving measures of drug use severity from the Addiction Severity Index. Adverse events in this trial were generally mild and were evenly distributed between the two groups. Acamprosate was well tolerated but was no more efficacious than placebo in promoting abstinence from cocaine in cocaine dependent patients. Acamprosate does not appear to be a promising medication for the treatment of cocaine dependence.
    Addictive behaviors 03/2011; 36(3):217-21. · 2.25 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We examined the ability of several baseline variables to predict treatment outcome in a pharmacotherapy trial that included 164 participants who were both cocaine- and alcohol-dependent and were selected for a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Predictor variables included results from the baseline Addiction Severity Index (ASI), initial Urine Drug Screen results, cocaine and alcohol craving and cocaine and alcohol withdrawal symptoms at the start of treatment. Successful treatment was defined as four continuous weeks of self-reported cocaine abstinence verified by urine drug screens. In respect to demographic characteristics, there were no significant differences between patients who achieved four weeks of abstinence from cocaine and those who did not. Baseline variables that most consistently predicted cocaine abstinence included initial urine drug screen (UDS) results, the initial Cocaine Selective Severity Assessment (CSSA) scores, and initial self-reported cocaine use in past 30 days, whereas cocaine craving, cocaine composite scores, alcohol craving, alcohol withdrawal symptoms, and alcohol composite scores did not. The results of this study suggest that cocaine dependence severity in general, and initial UDS results, the CSSA scores and frequency of recent cocaine use in particular, have a significant impact on treatment outcome in the treatment of cocaine-dependent patients with comorbid alcoholism. Initial UDS results and CSSA scores are very useful predictors of treatment outcome and could be used as stratifying variables in outpatient cocaine and alcohol medication trials.
    American Journal on Addictions 07/2009; 18(1):81-6. · 1.74 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This study compared the effects of alcohol and cocaine dependence severity on the outcome of outpatient detoxification from alcohol and cocaine. Subjects included 84 subjects with both alcohol and cocaine dependence admitted for outpatient detoxification. Fifty-three of the 84 subjects (63%) completed detoxification. Baseline cocaine use, cocaine craving, and cocaine withdrawal symptoms predicted detoxification outcome, whereas alcohol use, alcohol craving, and alcohol withdrawal symptoms did not. Among cocaine- and alcohol-dependent subjects, cocaine dependence severity appears to be a more important predictor of detoxification success than alcohol dependence severity.
    American Journal on Addictions 07/2009; 13(1):74-82. · 1.74 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This trial compared the efficacy of acamprosate, started at the beginning of detoxification, to acamprosate started at the completion of detoxification, in the treatment of alcohol dependence. This biphasic clinical trial consisted of a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled Detoxification Phase (DP), followed by a 10-week open-label Rehabilitation Phase (RP). Forty alcohol dependent patients were randomly assigned to receive either 1998 mg of acamprosate daily, or matching placebo, during the DP (5-14 days). After completing detoxification, all patients received open label acamprosate (1998 mg daily) in the RP. Outcome measures during the DP included: treatment retention, alcohol withdrawal, alcohol consumption, and oxazepam used. Outcome measures during the RP included: treatment retention and alcohol consumption. There were no significant outcome differences between acamprosate and placebo-treated patients during the DP. Patients given acamprosate, compared to placebo, during the DP drank more alcohol in the RP. Starting acamprosate at the beginning of detoxification did not improve DP outcomes. Starting acamprosate after detoxification was completed was associated with better drinking outcomes during subsequent alcohol rehabilitation treatment.
    Addictive behaviors 04/2009; 34(6-7):581-6. · 2.25 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Atypical antipsychotics may be useful in the treatment of alcohol dependence. Human trials suggest that atypical antipsychotics may reduce alcohol craving and consumption, especially among patients with comorbid psychopathology. Therefore, these medications may be more useful for treating more severely affected alcoholics, such as patients with Type B alcoholism. Type B alcoholics are characterized by an early age of onset of problem drinking, high severity of alcohol dependence, increased psychopathology, and treatment-resistance. Quetiapine is an atypical antipsychotic with a favorable side effect profile, and may be a promising medication for the treatment of alcohol dependence, particularly Type B alcoholism. Male and female alcoholics (33 Type A and 28 Type B) were included in a 12-week, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. After detoxification, patients were randomized to receive quetiapine (n = 29), 400 mg/d at bedtime, or placebo (n = 32). The primary outcome measure was the quantity and frequency of alcohol consumption, measured by the timeline follow back. Forty-seven patients (77%) completed the trial, with no significant between-group differences in treatment retention. Nine quetiapine-treated patients (31%) maintained complete abstinence compared with 2 placebo-treated patients (6%) (chi(2) = 6.3, P = 0.012). There was a significant interaction between quetiapine and alcoholic subtype. As predicted, quetiapine- versus placebo-treated Type B alcoholics had significantly fewer days of drinking and fewer days of heavy drinking. Alcohol craving was also significantly reduced in quetiapine-treated compared with placebo-treated Type B alcoholics. Among Type A alcoholics, quetiapine provided no advantage over placebo in improving drinking outcomes. Quetiapine may be effective for the treatment of alcohol dependence, particularly in the more complicated Type B, early-onset alcoholics.
    Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology 09/2007; 27(4):344-51. · 3.51 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This trial evaluated the efficacy of amantadine, propranolol and their combination in cocaine dependent patients with severe cocaine withdrawal symptoms. Cocaine withdrawal symptom severity was measured by the cocaine selective severity assessment (CSSA). One hundred and ninety-nine patients with high scores on the CSSA participated in a 10-week double-blind trial. Patients were randomly assigned to receive amantadine (300 mg/day), propranolol (100mg/day), a combination of amantadine (300 mg/day) and propranolol (100mg/day) or matching placebo capsules. The primary outcome measure was cocaine abstinence. In the intent-to-treat sample, there were no significant differences between the four medication groups in treatment retention. The odds of cocaine abstinence showed a marginally significant increase over time in the propranolol group (p=0.06) but not in the other three groups. In highly medication-adherent patients, treatment retention was significantly better in the propranolol group compared to the placebo group (p=0.01) and the odds of cocaine abstinence increased significantly over time in the propranolol group but not in the other three groups. In the intent-to-treat sample, none of the three active treatments (propranolol, amantadine or their combination) was significantly more effective than placebo in promoting abstinence from cocaine among patients who entered treatment with more severe cocaine withdrawal symptoms. Among patients highly adherent to study medication, propranolol treatment was associated with better treatment retention and higher rates of cocaine abstinence compared to placebo.
    Drug and Alcohol Dependence 12/2006; 85(2):129-37. · 3.14 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Both GABAergic and glutamatergic neurons appear to be important modulators of the brain reward system and medications that affect GABA and glutamatergic neurotransmission may reduce the rewarding properties of cocaine and reduce cocaine craving. Topiramate, an anticonvulsant, raises cerebral GABA levels, facilitates GABAergic neurotransmission and inhibits glutametergic activity at AMPA/kainite receptors. Thus, it may be useful for treating cocaine dependence. The efficacy of topiramate for cocaine dependence was tested in a 13-week, double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot trial (n = 40). Topiramate was titrated gradually over 8 weeks to a dose of 200 mg daily. The primary outcome measure was cocaine abstinence verified by twice weekly urine benzoylecgonine tests (UBT). Eighty-two percent of subjects completed the trial. Analysis of the UBT using a GEE model showed that after week 8, when the dose titration was completed, topiramate-treated subjects were more likely to be abstinent from cocaine compared to placebo-treated subjects (Z = 2.67, P = 0.01). Topiramate-treated subjects were also more likely to attain 3 weeks of continuous abstinence from cocaine (chi2 = 3.9, d.f. = 1, P = 0.05). Topiramate may be effective for the treatment of cocaine dependence.
    Drug and Alcohol Dependence 10/2004; 75(3):233-40. · 3.14 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Multiple lines of evidence suggest both dopaminergic and serotonergic involvement in the reinforcing effects of cocaine. Medications such as olanzapine, which block dopamine D2 receptors, as well as serotonin receptors 5HT2A and 5HT2C may be able to reduce cocaine use in cocaine dependent patients by reducing the euphoric effects of cocaine and attenuating cocaine craving. This was a 12-week, double blind, placebo controlled, pilot trial involving 30 cocaine dependent subjects. Subjects received either olanzapine (10 mg/day) or identical placebo. Outcome measures included treatment retention, qualitative urine benzoylecgonine tests, cocaine craving, clinical global impression scores, and results from the addiction severity index. Treatment retention was slightly, but significantly, better in the placebo-treated subjects. Placebo-treated subjects were more likely to be abstinent from cocaine during the trial compared to olanzapine-treated subjects, based on urine benzoylecgonine results. Olanzapine was not superior to placebo in any outcome measure. The results of this trial do not support the usefulness of olanzapine for the treatment of cocaine dependence. In fact, olanzapine may worsen cocaine treatment outcome.
    Drug and Alcohol Dependence 07/2003; 70(3):265-73. · 3.14 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This study compares alcohol withdrawal severity during outpatient detoxification in alcohol dependent subjects (ALC) and in subjects dependent on both alcohol and cocaine (ALC/COC). Subjects included 123 ALC and 66 ALC/COC subjects. Baseline demographic and drug use variables, alcohol withdrawal symptoms, and the total amount of oxazepam taken during alcohol detoxification were compared between the two groups. Compared to ALC subjects, ALC/COC subjects were younger, more likely to be African-American, and had less severe histories of alcohol dependence. However, alcohol withdrawal symptom severity did not differ significantly between the two groups. Nevertheless, controlling for differences in alcohol use history, ALC/COC subjects still received less oxazepam than did ALC subjects to treat alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Despite similar intensity of alcohol withdrawal symptoms, ALC/COC subjects received less oxazepam to treat alcohol withdrawal symptoms compared to ALC subjects. Both subject and clinician factors may explain the difference in oxazepam use.
    Journal of Addictive Diseases 02/2002; 21(4):13-26. · 1.46 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The authors compared 9-, 16-, 26-, and 52-week outcomes for two randomly assigned groups of nicotine-dependent subjects: 1) nicotine patch plus four smoking cessation sessions with a nurse-practitioner giving advice and instruction (n = 36; moderate-intensity condition, MI); or 2) the foregoing treatments plus 16 weekly individual cognitive/ behavioral relapse-prevention therapy sessions (n = 33; high-intensity condition, HI). Patch completion rates were 69.7% in the HI group and 55.6% in the MI group (NS). Self-reported abstinence rates at the four follow-up points were comparable for the two treatment groups; HI: 39%, 36%, 36%, and 36%; MI: 44%, 28%, 25%, and 28%, respectively. There was some indication that MI patients with high nicotine dependence had lower abstinence rates than highly dependent HI patients.
    American Journal on Addictions 02/1997; 6(2):93-8. · 1.74 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: A 4-week, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of amantadine was conducted in 61 cocaine dependent outpatients. Subjects received 100 mg of amantadine 3 times daily. A follow-up visit was conducted at week 8. There were no significant differences between groups in treatment retention, or in the number of benzoylecgonine positive urine samples. Self-reported drug and alcohol use declined in both groups. At week 8 follow-up, self-reported drug use was significantly lower in the placebo group. Amantadine was not effective, and discontinuation of it may have been associated with an increase in cocaine use.
    Drug and Alcohol Dependence 06/1996; · 3.14 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Recent studies of substance dependence typologies briefly show that multivariate systems originally developed for identifying subtypes of alcoholics, such as Babor's Type A and B system, may also be valid in abusers of other substances, such as cocaine. Type B patients are characterized by an earlier onset of addiction and more severe symptoms of their addiction, psychopathology, and impulsivity. The Type B classification has also been associated with deficits in serotonergic function. We have found that patients who exhibit more severe cocaine withdrawal symptoms, as measured by scores on the Cocaine Selective Severity Assessment (CSSA), have poor treatment outcome and share many characteristics with "Type B" patients. In this paper, we review baseline characteristics of cocaine-dependent patients from several recently completed outpatient cocaine dependence treatment trials to assess the association of cocaine withdrawal symptom severity and the Type B profile. Identifying subtypes of cocaine-dependent patients may improve our ability to treat cocaine dependence by targeting treatments for specific subtypes of patients. We examined the ability of the CSSA scores to capture Type B characteristics in cocaine dependence by analyzing a series of cocaine medication trials that included 255 cocaine-dependent subjects. High CSSA scores at baseline were associated with a history of violent behavior, a family history of substance abuse, antisocial personality disorder, higher addiction severity, and co-morbid psychiatric diseases. Patients with high CSSA scores are also more likely to meet criteria for Type B (Type II) cocaine dependence. Identifying Type B cocaine-dependent patients may help to develop targeted psychosocial or pharmacological treatments for these difficult-to-treat patients.
    American Journal on Addictions 17(1):60-4. · 1.74 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

362 Citations
31.91 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2002–2012
    • Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
      • Department of Psychiatry
      Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
  • 2003–2009
    • University of Pennsylvania
      • Department of Psychiatry
      Philadelphia, PA, United States
  • 1996
    • Treatment Research Institute, Philadelphia PA
      Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States