Author(s): Vocci FJ, Appel NM
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Methamphetamine abuse has become an increasing problem in both the United States and globally with concomitant increases in adverse medical, social and environmental sequelae. Behavioral therapies have been used with some success to treat methamphetamine abusers and dependent individuals, but are not universally efficacious. Methamphetamine has a rich pharmacology that theoretically provides many opportunities for potential pharmacotherapeutic intervention. Nevertheless, there are no approved medications with an indication for treating methamphetamine abusers or addicts at this time. AIM: To describe briefly how methamphetamine functions and affects function in brain and report how basic researchers and clinicians are attempting to exploit and exploiting this knowledge to discover and develop effective pharmacotherapies. RESULTS: Scientifically based approaches to medications development by evaluating medications that limit brain exposure to methamphetamine; modulate methamphetamine effects at vesicular monoamine transporter-2 (VMAT-2); or affect dopaminergic, serotonergic, GABAergic, and/or glutamatergic brain pathways that participate in methamphetamine's reinforcing effects are presented. CONCLUSION: The evidence supports the rationale that pharmacotherapies to decrease methamphetamine use, or reduce craving during abstinence may be developed from altering the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of methamphetamine or its effects on appetitive systems in the brain.
This article was published in Addiction
and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy