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Review
. 2017 Mar;10(3):305-314.
doi: 10.1080/17512433.2017.1268916. Epub 2016 Dec 20.

Pharmacological Treatments for Methamphetamine Addiction: Current Status and Future Directions

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Review

Pharmacological Treatments for Methamphetamine Addiction: Current Status and Future Directions

Javier Ballester et al. Expert Rev Clin Pharmacol. .

Abstract

Methamphetamine (MA) abuse remains a global health challenge despite intense research interest in the development of pharmacological treatments. This review provides a summary of clinical trials and human studies on the pharmacotherapy of methamphetamine use disorder (MUD). Areas covered: We summarize published clinical trials that tested candidate medications for MUD and also conducted PubMed and Google Scholar searches to identify recently completed clinical trials using the keywords 'methamphetamine' 'addiction' 'pharmacotherapy' and 'clinical trial.' To determine the status of ongoing clinical trials targeting MUD, we also searched the ClinicalTrials.gov online database. We conclude this review with a discussion of current research gaps and future directions. Expert commentary: Clinical trials examining the potential for pharmacotherapies of MUD have largely been negative. Future studies need to address several limitations to reduce the possibility of Type II errors: small sample sizes, high dropout rates or multiple comorbidities. Additionally, new treatment targets, such as MA-induced disruptions in cognition and in the neuroimmune system, merit trials with agents that selectively modulate these processes.

Keywords: Addiction; cognition; neurobiology; pharmacotherapy; stimulants.

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