[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The anticonvulsant topiramate not only decreases ethanol consumption in alcohol dependence (AD) but also may produce several adverse events including cognitive impairment. Zonisamide is a structurally related anticonvulsant that is a promising agent for the treatment of AD and may have greater tolerability than topiramate. This study evaluated the effects of zonisamide (400 mg/d) on alcohol consumption and its neurotoxic effects in subjects with AD. A double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial was conducted using 2 comparator anticonvulsant drugs, topiramate (300 mg/d) and levetiracetam (2000 mg/d), which does not impair cognition. Study medications were administered for 14 weeks, including a 2-week taper period. Medication adherence was facilitated using Brief Behavioral Compliance Enhancement Treatment. The neurotoxicity of the study drugs was assessed using neuropsychological tests and the AB-Neurotoxicity Scale. Compared with placebo, both zonisamide and topiramate produced significant reductions in the drinks consumed per day, percent days drinking, and percent days heavy drinking. Only the percent days heavy drinking was significantly decreased in the levetiracetam group. The topiramate cell was the only group that had a significant increase on the mental slowing subscale of the Neurotoxicity Scale compared with placebo at study weeks 11 and 12. Topiramate and zonisamide both produced modest reductions in verbal fluency and working memory. These findings indicate that zonisamide may have efficacy in the treatment of AD, with effect sizes similar to topiramate. Both of these drugs produced similar patterns of cognitive impairment, although only the topiramate group reported significant increases in mental slowing.
Full-text · Article · Nov 2014 · Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Prior findings concerning the use of mirtazapine in the treatment of a variety of substance use disorders and its antagonistic actions at the serotonin 5-HT(2A) receptor suggest that this drug may have efficacy in the treatment of cocaine dependence in the presence of a depressive disorder.
Depressed cocaine-dependent subjects received either mirtazapine (target dose 45 mg daily) or placebo for 12 weeks. Urine concentrations of benzoylecgonine and self-report were used to assess cocaine consumption. Depression and sleep quality were evaluated using the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAM-D) and the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, respectively.
Cocaine consumption during the treatment period did not differ significantly between the mirtazapine (n = 11) and placebo (n = 13) groups in this study. In week 4 sleep latency was significantly lower in the active medication than in the placebo group. Positive effects of mirtazapine treatment on early insomnia were suggested by an item analysis of the HAM-D.
The results of this study suggest that mirtazapine is superior to placebo in improving sleep in patients with comorbid depression and cocaine dependence, but is not more effective than placebo in reducing cocaine use.
No preview · Article · Mar 2012 · The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Despite advances in developing medications to treat alcohol dependence, few such medications have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Identified molecular targets are encouraging and can lead to the development and testing of new compounds. Atypical antipsychotic medications have been explored with varying results. Prior research suggests that the antipsychotic quetiapine may be beneficial in an alcohol-dependent population of very heavy drinkers.
In this double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, 224 alcohol-dependent patients who reported very heavy drinking were recruited across 5 clinical sites. Patients received either quetiapine or placebo and Medical Management behavioral intervention. Patients were stratified on gender, clinical site, and reduction in drinking prior to randomization.
No differences between the quetiapine and placebo groups were detected in the primary outcome, percentage heavy-drinking days, or other drinking outcomes. Quetiapine significantly reduced depressive symptoms and improved sleep but had no effect on other nondrinking outcomes. Results from a subgroup analysis suggest that patients who reduced their drinking prior to randomization had significantly better drinking outcomes during the maintenance phase (p < 0.0001). No significant interactions, however, were observed between reducer status and treatment group. Finally, quetiapine was generally well tolerated. Statistically significant adverse events that were more common with quetiapine versus placebo include dizziness (14 vs. 4%), dry mouth (32 vs. 9%), dyspepsia (13 vs. 2%), increased appetite (11 vs. 1%), sedation (15 vs. 3%), and somnolence (34 vs. 9%).
This multisite clinical trial showed no efficacy for quetiapine compared with placebo at reducing alcohol consumption in heavy-drinking alcohol-dependent patients.
Full-text · Article · Sep 2011 · Alcoholism Clinical and Experimental Research
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The objectives of this study are to assess the tolerability and efficacy of the anticonvulsant zonisamide in an open label trial of the treatment of alcohol dependence.
In this trial, zonisamide (400-mg daily) was administered to alcohol-dependent subjects (ADS) (n = 16) over 13 weeks. The mean daily consumption of standard alcoholic drinks and performance on a verbal fluency task, the COWAT, and on a measure of attention and visuomotor speed, the DSMT were assessed, and the occurrence of adverse events was monitored weekly.
The mean number of drinks consumed daily was significantly reduced from baseline levels during the treatment period. Performances on the COWAT and on the DSMT were not significantly reduced by zonisamide treatment. Overall, zonisamide was well tolerated by the study subjects.
These results indicate that zonisamide administration may not impair verbal fluency in ADS, and are consistent with other studies that found zonisamide administration may reduce alcohol intake.
Full-text · Article · Mar 2010 · The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse