Research from the University of Virginia, published in the journal Addiction, shows that one drug known to break alcohol addiction can also help methamphetamine addiction. According to Futurity.com, the study determined the effectiveness of topiramate on 140 methamphetamine addicts.
Topiramate, whose brand name is Topamax, is an anticonvulsant drug, used to treat epilepsy, as well as migraine headaches, bipolar disorder, and addiction to cocaine and alcohol. Study participants were either given the placebo, or topiramate. Topiramate did not eliminate meth addiction, but researchers noted that the drug was effective in reducing the amount of meth taken, as well as reducing relapse rates. This randomized trial was conducted at the University of Virginia and seven other sites around the nation.
Bankole A. Johnson, a University of Virginia School of Medicine researcher, said, "Once a person stops, even for a few days, topiramate significantly increases their chances for not relapsing. That's very important, because relapse prevention is an important component of addiction medicine. We try to get people drug-free, and then we want to give them something to take away with them to maintain that drug-free status. So this is one way in which that can be done."
In a previous research project, Johnson and his team showed that topiramate was successful in treating alcoholism because the drug blocks the brain's dopamine pathways. This study found that the drug reduced heavy drinking and also diminished physical and psychological harm caused by alcoholism. Johnson plans to explore this drug's potential in treating methamphetamine addiction in a larger trial.
If you know someone struggling with methamphetamine addiction, click here for more information.