A pill to cure addiction? No one interested
April 17, 2001 8:05 AM   Subscribe

A pill to cure addiction? No one interested The claim is made that a pill used for epilepsy problems has potential for curing drug addiction but that the government and organizations are not interested in exploring or testing .
posted by Postroad (8 comments total)
reminds me of the recent post on a drug to block the effects of marijuana on the brain.
posted by Outlawyr at 8:16 AM on April 17, 2001

But, is pot a drug? I don't know, but interesting, in two weeks cures found for pot abusers and drug addicts.

The thing here is that the govn't itself ships these drugs into the states and is trying to infect every last one of us to launch the world into a state of total chaos a la 'escape from ny/la', take a significant part of the uninfected population to moon and nuke earth while the civilization flourishes and is ready to make a return within 120 regular earth years. Yep.

As far as large drug companies it's no secret that they're mighty sweet in between the govn't anyway.
posted by tiaka at 8:16 AM on April 17, 2001

After posting the URL abovoe, I discovered in the Science Section of Tues, NY Times, that a new drug called Propranolol seems to help coke addicts stay in treatment. The drug seems to make it easier to fight off the pull of coke and the anxiety from withdrawal and thus appears to make relapsing much less the problem it currently is. This drug (Univ of Pa, Medical) has been used for high blood pressure. A second drug, amaantadine, used for Parkinson's, will soon be combined with the Propranolol to test results.
posted by Postroad at 8:42 AM on April 17, 2001

And let us not forget Ibogaine
posted by briank at 8:44 AM on April 17, 2001

Gee, doesn't it sound like the War On Drugs was a sham? Maybe it's just me.

Look, yeah, sure, it's a travesty that this stuff isn't at least looked into by someone, but the power in the pharmaceutical industry is so consolidated it makes mainstream media look like an anarchic free-for-all, and (tens or hundreds of) thousands of people dying (of addiction or some other physical condition these drugs might help) isn't going to budge these pointyheads off their little policy rock.

Fact is, there's no money in un-addicting people, whether it be to tobacco or television or crack or Quake or pills or Porsches. Why would anyone in a position of power explore such a thing? We're a culture of addicts, whether that's by accident or design, and no one actually getting rich off our addictions is gonna make much effort to change that.
posted by chicobangs at 9:50 AM on April 17, 2001

   I find it really interesting that a lot of drugs that are being used for the treatment of epilepsy are also turning out to be effective for other uses.
   I just finished a trial for pregabalin for the treatment of social phobia, and since usage has been restricted by Pfizer, I've been moved to gabapentin. These drugs are closely related, and are used to treat epilepsy, chronic pain, and social anxiety.
   The relevant part of all this is that I decided to give up smoking about 3 months into the pregablin study, and that was 8 months ago. The only cravings I've had at all were when I had to come down off the pregabalin in order to switch drugs. I had a fairly easy time of quitting, or at least it was much easier than other times that I had tried to quit.
posted by bshort at 11:35 AM on April 17, 2001

Anticonvulsants are turning out to be very versatile drugs. They're not really epilepsy-specific. What they do is to generally regulate neural function and prevent overexcitation.

One area where they've turned out to be extremely useful is in treatment of bipolar disorder. For treatment of lows, antidepressants are used, though they often kick the patient into a high (which is perhaps even more dangerous). The traditional treatment for highs has been lithium carbonate, which is cheap and effective -- for about two thirds of patients. The other third aren't helped by it.

It was discovered about twenty years ago that Carbamazepine (Tegretol) also serves as a mood stabilizer. (My understanding is that it was a serendipitous discovery by some poor bastard who was epileptic and bipolar and who wasn't helped by lithium, and who noticed that his Tegretol was helping his mood swings.) These days the preferred choice is Valproic acid (Depakote) though others such as Lamotrigine (Lamictal) and Gabapentin (Neurontin) are useful for some patients. At this point probably about 8 such have been identified which are useful for bipolar disorder.
posted by Steven Den Beste at 2:44 PM on April 17, 2001

My wife has suffered from anxiety disorder and agoraphobia since she was 16, and the one drug that helps her is Klonopin, which is also an anti-seizure medication. She takes such a small dose that it appears to be medically insignificant as far as most of her doctors have been concerned, and yet it is the only thing that eases her anxiety. Klonopin is supposedly highly addictive, and she reports that it is difficult to stop taking it, but the tradeoff of being able to live a normal life seems worth the price of dependency.
posted by briank at 6:49 PM on April 17, 2001

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