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Tue Jun 12, 2012, 11:18 PM

High Blood Pressure Med May Help Cocaine Dependence

June 12, 2012 (Phoenix, Arizona) Doxazosin, an alpha1-adrenergic antagonist traditionally used to treat hypertension and benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH), may also be effective in treating cocaine dependence, new research suggests.

Investigators from Baylor College in Houston, Texas, found that the rapid titration of the drug significantly reduced cocaine use compared with slow titration of doxazosin or placebo.

In the meantime, the current study's findings are important in supporting the growing body of literature suggesting that the noradrenergic system is an important pharmacologic target in the treatment of addiction, said lead investigator Daryl Shorter, MD.

"For so long, we believed that dopamine must be the primary target if we hoped to reduce drug craving and use, [but] it has become clear that addressing other neurobiological systems is necessary if we hope to more effectively treat addiction," Dr. Shorter told Medscape Medical News.

The findings were presented here at the New Clinical Drug Evaluation Unit (NCDEU) 52nd Annual Meeting.


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