THURSDAY, Jan. 13, 2005 (HealthDayNews) -- Modafinil -- a wake-promoting drug used to treat narcolepsy -- may be an effective treatment for cocaine dependence, suggests a University of Pennsylvania Medical Center study.
Researchers found modafinil promoted cocaine abstinence among 30 cocaine-dependent patients seeking treatment. There were no serious side effects among the patients treated with the drug. The study appears in the January issue of the Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology.
A previous study by the same researchers found that modafinil blunted cocaine-induced euphoria.
"If confirmed by further investigation, this could be the breakthrough we have been waiting for," principal investigator Dr. Charles Dackis, chief of psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, said in a prepared statement.
"Cocaine is capable of destroying not only the lives of those addicted, but also those around them. An effective treatment for cocaine addiction would help those most vulnerable in our society to overpower their addiction and regain control of their lives," Dackis said.
He said these preliminary results are promising, and three larger studies of modafinil treatment for cocaine dependence are under way.
The U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse has more about cocaine abuse and addiction.