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Drug Alcohol Depend. 2015 Nov 1;156:29-37. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2015.08.013. Epub 2015 Aug 25.

Buspirone treatment of cannabis dependence: A randomized, placebo-controlled trial.

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC 29425, USA. Electronic address: mcraeal@musc.edu.
2
Department of Public Health Sciences, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC 29425, USA.
3
Department of Psychiatry, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC 29425, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of buspirone, a partial 5-HT1A agonist, for treatment of cannabis dependence.

METHODS:

One hundred seventy-five cannabis-dependent adults were randomized to receive either up to 60mg/day of buspirone (n=88) or placebo (n=87) for 12 weeks combined with a brief motivational enhancement therapy intervention and contingency management to encourage study retention. Cannabis use outcomes were assessed via weekly urine cannabinoid tests.

RESULTS:

Participants in both groups reported reduced cannabis craving over the course of the study; however, buspirone provided no advantage over placebo in reducing cannabis use. Significant gender by treatment interactions were observed, with women randomized to buspirone having fewer negative urine cannabinoid tests than women randomized to placebo (p=0.007), and men randomized to buspirone having significantly lower creatinine adjusted cannabinoid levels as compared to those randomized to placebo (p=0.023). An evaluation of serotonin allelic variations did not find an association with buspirone treatment response.

CONCLUSIONS:

Buspirone was not more efficacious than placebo in reducing cannabis use. Important gender differences were noted, with women having worse cannabis use outcomes with buspirone treatment. Considerations for future medication trials in this challenging population are discussed.

KEYWORDS:

Buspirone; Cannabis; Contingency management; Gender differences; Motivational enhancement therapy

PMID:
26386827
PMCID:
PMC4633378
DOI:
10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2015.08.013
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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