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Drug Alcohol Depend. 1996 Jun;41(2):137-42.

A controlled trial of fluoxetine in crack cocaine dependence.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine, USA.


This controlled study tested the efficacy of the selective serotonergic reuptake inhibitor fluoxetine in the out-patient treatment of primary crack cocaine dependence. Thirty-two subjects were randomly assigned, 16 in each group, to placebo or fluoxetine, 40 mg/day, in a double-blind controlled trial over a 12-week period. Outcome measures included quantitative urine benzoylecgonine concentration, self-reports of cocaine use and craving, and treatment retention. Subjects assigned to fluoxetine were retained in treatment significantly longer than those on placebo: a median of 11 weeks compared to 3 weeks (logrank test, P < 0.001). Because of the poor retention in the placebo group, between-groups comparisons of outcome were limited to the first 6 weeks of treatment. No differences in cocaine use or craving were found between the two groups over weeks 1 to 6. The significant improvement in retention associated with fluoxetine may support further study of this medication in the treatment of cocaine dependence.

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