Pharmacological treatment for methamphetamine dependence
Aug 7, 2020
Methamphetamine treatment has presented a number of challenges for services. The unique ways that methamphetamine works, has meant that some of our treatment responses have needed to change and adapt. There’s been a lot of hope that pharmacological treatments might emerge that could assist with this. A new article has been published in the journal “CNS Drugs” titled “Pharmacological treatment of methamphetamine / Amphetamine dependence: A systematic review.” This paper, authored by a group of Australian clinicians and researchers examined 43 studies that together enrolled 4065 participants, reporting on 23 different pharmacotherapies. Different outcome measures across the studies meant that the authors couldn’t perform a meta-analysis. The most consistent positive findings were with stimulant agonist treatment (dexamphetamine and methylphenidate also known as Ritalin), naltrexone and topiramate. Having said that, many of the studies were underpowered, with low completion rates. More research is required to better understand which pharmacotherapies might be suitable for the treatment of methamphetamine dependence.