Beta-Blockers Help Ease Cocaine Cravings in Animals

Beta-Blockers Help Ease Cocaine Cravings in Animals

By Dirk Hanson 07/15/11

Despite promising tests in animals, no anti-craving meds for cocaine have yet been approved by the FDA.

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A new med to helpnavoidvthe lines Photo via darwinstable

A widely-used drug normally prescribed to treat anxiety and hypertension has shown some success in blocking cocaine-related cues in rats, according to a study in Neuropsychopharmacology. While a slew of recent drugs like Campral and Vivatrol have proved helpful in stemming cravings, forvalcohol and opiods, “Right now, there are no FDA-approved medications that are known to successfully treat cocaine abuse, only those that are used to treat the symptoms of cocaine withdrawal, which are largely ineffective at preventing relapse,” said study author Devin Mueller of the University of Wisconsin. “Our findings support the use of propranolol, a commonly prescribed β-blocker, as an adjunct to exposure therapy for the treatment of addiction by preventing retrieval of drug-associated memories during and long after treatment, and by providing protection against relapse,” the investigators wrote.