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Am J Psychiatry. 2007 Jul;164(7):1115-7.

Is cocaine desire reduced by N-acetylcysteine?

Author information

  • 1Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC 29425, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Animal models suggest that N-acetylcysteine inhibits cocaine-seeking. The present pilot study evaluated whether N-acetylcysteine would suppress reactivity to cocaine-related cues in cocaine-dependent humans.

METHOD:

In this double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, 15 participants received N-acetylcysteine or placebo during a 3-day hospitalization. Participants were crossed over to receive the opposite condition on a second, identical 3-day stay occurring 4 days later. During each hospital stay, participants completed a cue-reactivity procedure that involved collecting psychophysical and subjective data in response to slides depicting cocaine and cocaine use.

RESULTS:

While taking N-acetylcysteine, participants reported less desire to use and less interest in response to cocaine slides and watched cocaine slides for less time.

CONCLUSIONS:

The inhibition of cocaine cue reactivity is consistent with existing preclinical data and supports the use of N-acetylcysteine as a treatment for cocaine dependence.

PMID:
17606664
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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