Author(s): Afshar M, Knapp CM, SaridSegal O, Devine E, Colaneri LS,
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Prior findings concerning the use of mirtazapine in the treatment of a variety of substance use disorders and its antagonistic actions at the serotonin 5-HT(2A) receptor suggest that this drug may have efficacy in the treatment of cocaine dependence in the presence of a depressive disorder. METHODS: Depressed cocaine-dependent subjects received either mirtazapine (target dose 45 mg daily) or placebo for 12 weeks. Urine concentrations of benzoylecgonine and self-report were used to assess cocaine consumption. Depression and sleep quality were evaluated using the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAM-D) and the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, respectively. RESULTS: Cocaine consumption during the treatment period did not differ significantly between the mirtazapine (n = 11) and placebo (n = 13) groups in this study. In week 4 sleep latency was significantly lower in the active medication than in the placebo group. Positive effects of mirtazapine treatment on early insomnia were suggested by an item analysis of the HAM-D. CONCLUSIONS AND SCIENTIFIC SIGNIFICANCE: The results of this study suggest that mirtazapine is superior to placebo in improving sleep in patients with comorbid depression and cocaine dependence, but is not more effective than placebo in reducing cocaine use.
This article was published in Am J Drug Alcohol Abuse
and referenced in Journal of Antivirals & Antiretrovirals