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An acute dose of nicotine enhances cue-induced cocaine craving.

Randomized controlled trial
Reid MS, et al. Drug Alcohol Depend. 1998.

Abstract

The present study examined whether the active component in tobacco, nicotine, can modulate cocaine craving in patients with a history of smoking crack cocaine when exposed to crack cocaine related environmental cues. Twenty patients, all cigarette smokers, were randomly assigned to nicotine (two 22 mg transdermal patches) or placebo in a single-dose, placebo-controlled, crossover, double-blind study. Craving and anxiety were measured before and after cocaine cues with visual analog scales for desire to use cocaine and mood. Skin conductance and skin temperature were recorded before and during cocaine cues. Following exposure to cocaine cues, all patients reported an increase in cocaine craving and anxiety relative to the pre-cue measures. Cue exposure also produced an increase in skin conductance and decrease in skin temperature. The cue-induced increase in cocaine craving was strongly enhanced by nicotine, while the increase in anxiety was slightly augmented. Cue-induced skin conductance and temperature responses were unaffected by nicotine. These findings show that cue-induced cocaine craving is enhanced by nicotine. This occurred in the absence of any tobacco smoking-related cues, suggesting that nicotine may have direct psychopharmacological effects on conditioned cocaine craving.

PMID

9543646 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

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