PubMed – Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2011 Dec 7;12:CD002950.
Antidepressants for cocaine dependence and problematic cocaine use.
Pani PP, Trogu E, Vecchi S, Amato L.
Social-Health Division, Health District 8 (ASL 8) Cagliari, Via Logudoro 17, Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy, 09127.
Cocaine dependence is a disorder for which no pharmacological treatment of proven efficacy exists, advances in the neurobiology could guide future medication development.
To investigate the efficacy and acceptability of antidepressants alone or in combination with any psychosocial intervention for the treatment of cocaine dependence and problematic cocaine use.
We searched the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), PubMed, EMBASE and CINAHL in July 2011 and researchers for unpublished trials.
Randomised clinical trials comparing antidepressants alone or associated with psychosocial intervention with placebo, no treatment, other pharmacological or psychosocial interventions.
DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS:
Two authors independently assessed trial quality and extracted data.
37 studies were included in the review (3551 participants).Antidepressants versus placebo: results for dropouts did not show evidence of difference, 31 studies, 2819 participants, RR 1.03 (Cl 95% 0.93 to 1.14). Looking at Abstinence from cocaine use, even though not statistically significant, the difference shown by the analysis in the three-weeks abstinence rate was in favour of antidepressants (eight studies, 942 participants, RR 1.22 (Cl 95% 0.99 to 1.51)). Considering only studies involving tricyclics, five studies, 367 participants, or only desipramine, four studies, 254 participants, the evidence was in favour of antidepressants. However, selecting only studies with operationally defined diagnostic criteria, statistical significance favouring antidepressants, as well as the trend for significance shown by the full sample, disappeared. Looking at safety issues, the results did not show evidence of differences (number of patients withdrawn for medical reasons, thirteen studies, 1396 participants, RR 1.39 (Cl 95% 0.91 to 2.12)). Subgroup analysis considering length of the trial, associated opioid dependence or associated psychosocial interventions as confounding factors, failed in showing consistent and statistically significant differences in favour of antidepressants.Antidepressants versus other drugs: Comparing antidepressants with dopamine agonists or with anticonvulsants, no evidence of differences was shown on dropouts and on other outcomes (abstinence from cocaine use, adverse events).
At the current stage of evidence data do not support the efficacy of antidepressants in the treatment of cocaine abuse/dependence. Partially positive results obtained on secondary outcome measures, such as depression severity, do not seem to be associated with an effect on direct indicators of cocaine abuse/dependence. Antidepressants cannot be considered a mainstay of treatment for unselected cocaine abusers/dependents.
Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2010;(2):CD002950.
PMID: 22161371 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]