Mecamylamine for the Treatment of Patients With Depression and Alcohol Dependence

This study has been completed.
National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Elizabeth Ralevski, Yale University Identifier:
First received: November 21, 2007
Last updated: July 8, 2014
Last verified: July 2014
The objective of this study is to evaluate the efficacy of mecamylamine (MEC, 10 mg/day) versus placebo in reducing depressive and alcohol symptoms in patients with depression and co-morbid alcohol dependence. The researchers hypothesize that MEC will significantly reduce depressive symptoms and decrease alcohol consumption compared to placebo in patients with depression and alcohol dependence who are on a stable dose of a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI).

Condition Intervention Phase
Alcohol Dependence
Drug: Mecamylamine
Phase 3

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Endpoint Classification: Safety/Efficacy Study
Intervention Model: Factorial Assignment
Masking: Double Blind (Subject, Investigator)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Mecamylamine for the Treatment of Patients With Depression and Alcohol Dependence

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by Yale University:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • drinking - measured using the TLFB [ Time Frame: 25 weeks ] [ Designated as safety issue: Yes ]
  • depression - measured using the HAMD [ Time Frame: 25 weeks ] [ Designated as safety issue: Yes ]

Enrollment: 21
Study Start Date: August 2007
Study Completion Date: July 2014
Primary Completion Date: July 2014 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Placebo Comparator: Mecamylamine Drug: Mecamylamine
mecamylamine 10mg/day for 12 weeks

Detailed Description:

Depression with co-morbid alcohol dependence is very prevalent and it is very costly to treat. The co occurrence of the two disorders leads to greater severity and worse long-term outcome, including suicide. Although a number of treatment strategies have been implemented for depressed patients with alcohol dependence the controversy concerning best treatment options for those patients persists.

The clinical relationship between depression and alcohol dependence suggests some common mechanism underlying both disorders. It has been hypothesized that medications that block presynaptic nAChR may be effective in the treatment of alcoholism and depression. Mecamylamine (Inversine ®) is a noncompetitive, high affinity nAChR antagonist with low selectivity for the alpha-7 receptor. Mecamylamine has never been investigated as an effective adjunct treatment for dually diagnosed patients with depression and alcohol dependence. Methods: Thirty participants with a current diagnosis of depression and alcohol dependence will be recruited for this 12-week treatment study. Fifteen participants will be randomized to mecamylamine and fifteen to placebo. Participants will be included in the study if: they meet current DSM-IV criteria for Major Depression and Alcohol Dependence and have been on a stable SSRI dose for 2 weeks. All participants will come weekly to take their medications and complete weekly assessments. Weekly assessments will consist of questioners that will assess depressive symptoms and alcohol consumption over the entire treatment period. Significance: This study is the first to evaluate the efficacy of mecamylamine as an augmenting agent for treatment of depression and alcohol dependence.


Ages Eligible for Study:   21 Years to 65 Years
Genders Eligible for Study:   Both
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  1. Individuals with the DSM-IV diagnosis of Major Depression (MD) and Alcohol Dependence (AD) (using the SCID).
  2. Individuals who have been on a stable SSRI dose for 2 weeks.
  3. Smokers and non-smokers (smokers are defined as smoking more than 5 cigarettes per day).
  4. Individuals who have a history of substance dependence (other than alcohol, tobacco and cocaine) but have not met criteria for substance dependence in the past 30 days will be included (using the SCID).
  5. Women of childbearing potential must have a negative pregnancy test and use an acceptable method of contraception.
  6. Individuals who are able to participate psychologically and physically; give informed consent; complete the assessments; take the study medication; and otherwise participate in the trial. A post-consent test will be given to assess patient's capacity to give informed consent.

Exclusion Criteria:

  1. Females who are pregnant or lactating.
  2. Patients may not be taking medications thought to influence drinking behavior, including: acamprosate, disulfiram, naltrexone, or ondansetron.
  3. Patients with significant underlying medical conditions, such as cerebral, renal, thyroid, hepatic or cardiac pathology, which in the opinion of the physician would preclude the patient from fully cooperating or be of potential harm during the course of the study.
  4. Patients with a history of glaucoma, prostatic hypertrophy, urethral obstruction, cerebral arteriosclerosis, pyloric stenosis, or a history of hypersensitivity to mecamylamine.
  5. Patients who meet current SCID criteria for the following major Axis I diagnosis (Posttraumatic Stress Disorders (PTSD), Bipolar Disorders, Schizophrenia and Schizophrenia-type Disorders).
  6. Patients with a current unstable medical condition such as neurological, cardiovascular, endocrine, renal, liver, or thyroid pathology (LFT more than 5 times normal, abnormal BUN and creatinine, and unmanaged hypertension with BP higher than 200/120).
  7. Patients on pharmacological treatments for alcohol and/or nicotine dependence. (8) Patients taking bethanechol. (9) Patients at risk for suicide.
  Contacts and Locations
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Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00563797

United States, Connecticut
VA Connecticut Healthcare System
West Haven, Connecticut, United States, 06516
Sponsors and Collaborators
Elizabeth Ralevski
National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression
Principal Investigator: Elizabeth Ralevski, Ph.D. Yale University
  More Information

No publications provided

Responsible Party: Elizabeth Ralevski, Assistant Professor, Yale University Identifier: NCT00563797     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: HSS # ER0004 
Study First Received: November 21, 2007
Last Updated: July 8, 2014
Health Authority: United States: Institutional Review Board

Keywords provided by Yale University:
alcohol dependence

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Depressive Disorder
Alcohol-Related Disorders
Behavioral Symptoms
Chemically-Induced Disorders
Mental Disorders
Mood Disorders
Substance-Related Disorders
Antihypertensive Agents
Autonomic Agents
Cardiovascular Agents
Cholinergic Agents
Cholinergic Antagonists
Ganglionic Blockers
Molecular Mechanisms of Pharmacological Action
Neurotransmitter Agents
Nicotinic Antagonists
Peripheral Nervous System Agents
Pharmacologic Actions
Physiological Effects of Drugs
Therapeutic Uses processed this record on February 11, 2016