The search for medications to treat stimulant dependence

Addict Sci Clin Pract. 2008 Jun;4(2):28-35. doi: 10.1151/ascp084228.


Progress in understanding the neurobiology of stimulant dependence has enabled researchers to identify medications whose pharmacological effects suggest that they might help patients initiate abstinence or avoid relapse. Several of these medications and a vaccine have shown encouraging results in controlled clinical trials with cocaine-dependent patients. The search for a medical treatment for methamphetamine dependence started more recently, due to the later emergence of this epidemic, but at least one candidate medication has shown promise in early clinical testing. Treatment approaches that combine efficacious medications and empirically proven behavioral interventions, such as voucher-based reinforcement therapy, will almost certainly produce the best results.

MeSH terms

  • Amphetamine-Related Disorders / rehabilitation*
  • Benzhydryl Compounds / therapeutic use
  • Brain / drug effects
  • Bupropion / therapeutic use
  • Cocaine / adverse effects
  • Cocaine-Related Disorders / rehabilitation*
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Drug Approval
  • Humans
  • Methamphetamine* / adverse effects
  • Modafinil
  • Propranolol / therapeutic use
  • Psychotropic Drugs / adverse effects
  • Psychotropic Drugs / therapeutic use*
  • Secondary Prevention
  • Substance Withdrawal Syndrome / rehabilitation
  • Token Economy


  • Benzhydryl Compounds
  • Psychotropic Drugs
  • Bupropion
  • Methamphetamine
  • Propranolol
  • Cocaine
  • Modafinil