Sex differences in cocaine-dependent individuals' response to disulfiram treatment

Yale University School of Medicine, VA Connecticut Health Care System, West Haven, USA.
Addictive Behaviors (Impact Factor: 2.76). 09/2004; 29(6):1123-8. DOI: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2004.03.004
Source: PubMed


The objective of this study is to evaluate differential response to disulfiram treatment of cocaine dependence by sex. Sex by treatment interactions from two pooled randomized clinical trials involving 191 cocaine-dependent subjects (36% female) were evaluated. Primary outcomes were days of abstinence and percentage of drug-free urine specimens. Significant sex by treatment interactions were found, where men treated with disulfiram had better outcomes than those who were not. Women had an intermediate outcome regardless of whether they received disulfiram. Sex differences in response to disulfiram treatment have important clinical and theoretical implications. Reasons for this apparent sex-based response are not clear, but possible mechanisms worthy of greater study include differences in alcohol use by sex as well as differences in dopamine-mediated responses to cocaine and disulfiram.

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    • "There is also evidence that genotypes for ANKK1, DRD2, or both, may be used to identify cocaine users for whom disulfiram may be effective (Spellicy et al., 2013). The effectiveness of disulfiram may also be greater for men than for women (Nich et al., 2004). "
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