Compared to smokers alone, smokers with co-morbid substance use disorders are at greater risk of suffering from smoking-related death. Despite this, relatively few studies have examined smoking cessation treatments for those with stimulant dependence. In the current study, we sought to evaluate the effects produced by short-term exposure to the cholinesterase inhibitor rivastigmine (0, 3 or 6 mg) on cigarette smoking in non-treatment-seeking, methamphetamine-dependent volunteers. This was a double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study that took place over 9 days. The data indicate that rivastigmine treatment did not alter Fagerström Test for Nicotine Dependence scores, carbon monoxide readings, or cigarettes smoked per day, but a trend toward reduced urges to smoke (p<0.09) was detected during treatment with rivastigmine 3mg. These data, while preliminary, indicate that cholinesterase inhibitors warrant consideration as treatments for nicotine dependence, including use in stimulant-dependent individuals who exhibit significantly higher rates of smoking than the general population.
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