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Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2001 Sep;157(2):163-7.

Effects of short-term citicoline treatment on acute cocaine intoxication and cardiovascular effects.

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Behavioral Psychopharmacology Research Laboratory, McLean Hospital/Havard Medical School, Belmont, MA 02478, USA.



The majority of pharmacotherapies proposed for cocaine dependence have been marginally effective and frequently have undesirable side effects. We recently demonstrated that short-term treatment with citicoline decreased self-reported desire to use cocaine in crack cocaine users.


The present study was conducted to assess the safety of citicoline in combination with cocaine by investigating whether cocaine-induced cardiovascular and behavioral effects and cocaine plasma levels are altered by citicoline pretreatment.


Eight healthy male and female volunteers who used cocaine on an occasional basis participated in this randomized, placebo-controlled, three-visit study. During all three visits, subjects received an acute intranasal dose of cocaine (0.9 mg/kg) and were continuously monitored for the ensuing 3.5 h. The first visit involved no pretreatment, and visits 2 and 3 were preceded by a 4-day pretreatment period of either citicoline (1 g/day) or placebo.


Citicoline pretreatment did not alter the cardiovascular, physiologic, or subjective effects of acute cocaine.


Although citicoline did not block the acute subjective effects of cocaine in a laboratory environment, the combined use of citicoline and a moderate dose of intranasal cocaine presented no added risk of cardiovascular effects. Further study is necessary to determine whether this medication (which is currently used to treat strokes) will be a useful adjunct to treat cocaine dependence.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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