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An Unusual Treatment for Cocaine Addiction

Cystic fibrosis drug may help curb cravings

MONDAY, Dec. 9, 2002 (HealthDayNews) -- A drug used to treat cystic fibrosis may reduce cocaine cravings, American researchers say.

Studies by the scientists found that the drug, n-acetyl cysteine, reverses the changes in brain chemistry believed to cause cocaine craving. They've studied the effects of cocaine in a region of the brain called the nucleus accumbens, an area of the brain associated with motivation.

Their findings are being presented this week at the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology's annual meeting in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Initial studies were done in rats, with promising results. The scientists are now designing experiments to determine if the drug will be as effective in controlling cocaine cravings in humans.

More information

The U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse has more about cocaine addiction.

SOURCE: American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, news release, Dec. 8, 2002
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