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Int J Neuropsychopharmacol. 2015 Sep 12;19(3):pyv098. doi: 10.1093/ijnp/pyv098.

Safety and Preliminary Efficacy of the Acetylcholinesterase Inhibitor Huperzine A as a Treatment for Cocaine Use Disorder.

Author information

1
Baylor College of Medicine, Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Houston, TX. rg12@bcm.edu.
2
Baylor College of Medicine, Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Houston, TX.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Cholinergic transmission is altered by drugs of abuse and contributes to psychostimulant reinforcement. In particular, acetylcholinesterase inhibitors, like huperzine A, may be effective as treatments for cocaine use disorder.

METHODS:

The current report describes results from a double-blind, placebo-controlled study in which participants (n=14-17/group) were randomized to huperzine A (0.4 or 0.8 mg) or placebo. Participants received randomized infusions of cocaine (0 and 40 mg, IV) on days 1 and 9. On day 10, participants received noncontingent, randomized infusions of cocaine (0 and 20mg, IV) before making 5 choices to receive additional infusions.

RESULTS:

Huperzine A was safe and well-tolerated and compared with placebo, treatment with huperzine A did not cause significant changes in any cocaine pharmacokinetic parameters (all P>.05). Time-course and peak effects analyses show that treatment with 0.4 mg of huperzine A significantly attenuated cocaine-induced increases of "Any Drug Effect," "High," "Stimulated," "Willing to Pay," and "Bad Effects" (all P>.05).

CONCLUSIONS:

The current study represents a significant contribution to the addiction field since it serves as the first published report on the safety and potential efficacy of huperzine A as a treatment for cocaine use disorder.

KEYWORDS:

Cocaine; acetylcholine; acetylcholinesterase inhibitor; huperzine A

PMID:
26364275
PMCID:
PMC4815469
DOI:
10.1093/ijnp/pyv098
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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