Progesterone effects on cocaine use in male cocaine users maintained on methadone: a randomized, double-blind, pilot study

Exp Clin Psychopharmacol. 2007 Oct;15(5):453-60. doi: 10.1037/1064-1297.15.5.453.


Previously, the authors reported that progesterone treatment attenuated reports of cocaine-induced high in male and female cocaine users. In this pilot clinical trial, the authors tested the safety and efficacy of oral progesterone as a treatment for cocaine dependence in methadone-stabilized male cocaine users. This was a 10-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Forty-five male methadone-stabilized cocaine users were randomized to receive placebo (n=15) or progesterone (n=30) for 9 weeks. The progesterone dose was gradually increased from 100 mg to 300 mg twice daily by Week 4 and maintained through Week 10. Treatment retention for the clinical trial was 80%, without significant group differences (log rank=2.4, p=.12). Hierarchical linear modeling estimates of obtaining a cocaine positive urine result across 10 weeks showed a very slight reduction in cocaine use for the progesterone group (Z=-2.89, p<.004). The placebo group showed a slight increase in cocaine use from Week 1 to Week 10 (Z=2.72, p<.007). These slopes significantly differed from each other (Z=-3.83, p<.0001). Overall, the placebo group showed significantly lower probability of having a cocaine positive urine result at treatment's end (Weeks 9 and 10) compared with the progesterone group (0.60 vs. 0.73; U=4837, p<.04). These preliminary findings do not support the efficacy of progesterone in male cocaine users. The efficacy of progesterone in female cocaine users remains to be determined in future studies.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cocaine-Related Disorders / drug therapy*
  • Cocaine-Related Disorders / epidemiology
  • Cocaine-Related Disorders / rehabilitation*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Methadone / administration & dosage
  • Methadone / therapeutic use*
  • Narcotics / administration & dosage
  • Narcotics / therapeutic use*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Progesterone / administration & dosage
  • Progesterone / therapeutic use*
  • Progestins / administration & dosage
  • Progestins / therapeutic use*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Narcotics
  • Progestins
  • Progesterone
  • Methadone