Wednesday, October 16, 2002
New Drug for Cocaine Addiction
HealthScout News reported Oct. 9.
Called Nocaine, the drug was developed through the Georgetown University Medical Center's Drug Discovery Program.
A recent study conducted by researchers at Georgetown University, the University of Mississippi, and the University of Texas evaluated Nocaine using laboratory animals. The researchers found that the animals tried harder to get doses of Nocaine, rather than a placebo saline solution. On the other hand, the animals worked harder to get doses of cocaine, rather than Nocaine.
"Our study results imply that Nocaine is a weak reinforcer, meaning that it provides some of cocaine's effects, but at a much lower level," said William L. Woolverton, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Mississippi Medical Center.
Previous studies by Georgetown's Drug Discovery Program also found that Nocaine reverses the neurologic effects linked to cocaine withdrawal and blocks cocaine's stimulant effect.
"Our studies have shown that Nocaine would likely blunt the aversive effects associated with cocaine abstinence, enabling addicts to gradually and safely withdraw from the drug," said Alan P. Kozikowski, professor of neurology and director of Georgetown's Drug Discovery Program.
The study is published in the October 2002 issue of the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.