Short-term treatment with citicoline (CDP-choline) attenuates some measures of craving in cocaine-dependent subjects: a preliminary report

Psychopharmacology (Berl). 1999 Feb;142(2):132-8. doi: 10.1007/s002130050871.


The administration of cytidine-5'-diphosphate choline (CDP-choline, citicoline) to animals increases the rate of membrane phospholipid synthesis and elevates brain dopamine levels. Because cocaine dependence has been associated with increases in brain phospholipid precursors, as well as depletion of dopamine within the central nervous system, the present outpatient study was conducted to assess the safety of citicoline (500 mg bid) and to determine if short-term treatment alters mood states and cocaine craving in subjects with a history of cocaine dependence. In addition, measures of drug craving and mood states after presentation of cocaine-related cues were collected on two occasions: before and after 14 days of double-blind treatment with either citicoline or placebo. Subjects did not experience any side effects and citicoline treatment was associated with decreases in self-reported mood states associated with cocaine craving. These preliminary data are encouraging and suggest that citicoline warrants further study as a promising potential treatment for cocaine abuse and dependence that is devoid of side effects.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Central Nervous System / drug effects
  • Central Nervous System / physiology
  • Cocaine-Related Disorders / drug therapy*
  • Cocaine-Related Disorders / urine
  • Cues
  • Cytidine Diphosphate Choline / adverse effects
  • Cytidine Diphosphate Choline / therapeutic use*
  • Cytidine Diphosphate Choline / urine
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nootropic Agents / adverse effects
  • Nootropic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Nootropic Agents / urine
  • Task Performance and Analysis


  • Nootropic Agents
  • Cytidine Diphosphate Choline