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Efficacy of Varenicline in Methadone-Stabilized Cocaine Users

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT00567320
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : December 4, 2007
Results First Posted : April 9, 2012
Last Update Posted : February 6, 2013
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
US Department of Veterans Affairs
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
James Poling, Yale University

Brief Summary:

Cocaine addiction continues to be an important public health problem in the US with a significant cost to the individual and society. Among substance abusers, cocaine use has been recognized as a significant problem especially in methadone-maintenance patients. In several studies, rates of cocaine use have been reported to range from 30 to over 60 percent of those in methadone maintenance programs (Condelli et al. 1991; Hunt et al. 1984; Kidorf and Stitzer 1993; Kosten et al. 1988). In these patients, cocaine use seems to be a predictor of poor clinical outcome (Hartel et al. 1995; Kosten et al. 1987a). The development of effective pharmacotherapies for cocaine use disorders, especially in the opioid-dependent population is of great importance. Unfortunately, such effective pharmacotherapies do not exist.

  1. To determine the safety and tolerability of varenicline in cocaine-using methadone-stabilized subjects.
  2. To determine if varenicline is efficacious in reducing cocaine-use in methadone-stabilized subjects.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Cocaine Dependence Nicotine Dependence Drug: Varenicline Drug: Sugar pill or Placebo Not Applicable

Detailed Description:

For this pilot study, we hope to recruit a total of 40 subjects, with 20 subjects in the varenicline group, and 20 into the placebo-control group. Assuming significant findings, these data will enable us to estimate a possible effect size for carrying-out a larger study. For preliminary analysis as a prelude to planning larger controlled studies, we will clinically require an effect size of 20% differences in the rates of cocaine positive urines or of self-reported cocaine use between the active medication and placebo groups. We will not adjust for these multiple comparisons to the placebo group since this is a pilot study, and use two-tailed significance level of 0.05 when we employ repeated measures analysis of variance (ANOVA) or Hierarchical Linear Modeling (HLM,see below) for statistical analysis over the 16-week study period.

An Amendment was made and a new Updated consent form to include new FDA findings for study medication Varenicline." Varenicline may also cause changes in behavior, agitation, depressed mood, suicidal ideation and suicidal behavior." Currently we have 30 subjects who have completed this study. This study is suspended due to these new concerns, Department of Veterans Affairs and the P.I. James Poling agreed.

Study has been published. (April 2011)

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 31 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Double (Participant, Investigator)
Primary Purpose: Health Services Research
Official Title: Efficacy of Varenicline in Methadone-Stabilized Cocaine Users
Study Start Date : March 2007
Actual Primary Completion Date : June 2009
Actual Study Completion Date : August 2009

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

Arm Intervention/treatment
Active Comparator: Varenicline Drug: Varenicline
Varenicline up to 2 mg a day
Other Name: Chantix

Active Comparator: Sugar Pill or Placebo
Placebo is compared to active drug varenicline
Drug: Sugar pill or Placebo
Other Name: Sugar pill

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Proportion of Cocaine Positive Urine Tests Per Week [ Time Frame: Weekly Measures over 12 weeks ]
    Urine samples were obtained thrice-weekly and analyzed for the presence of cocaine metabolites. Levels that exceeded 300 ng / ml on each individual urine test were considered positive. The primary outcome measure was the proportions of positive cocaine urine results per week that was calculated by using the total number of completed tests as the denominator and the total number of positive tests for that week as the numerator. This data was subjected to Hierarchical Linear Modeling (HLM) analysis using a total of 13 longitudinal results that included a baseline result (Week 0).

Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 55 Years   (Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Males and females between 18 and 55 years old will be eligible for this study. Females must not be pregnant as determined by pregnancy screening, nor breast feeding, and must be using acceptable birth control methods during study participation.
  • Current opioid dependence as evidenced by documentation of prior treatment for opioid dependence or signs of withdrawal, self-reported history of opioid dependence for consecutive 12 month period and a positive urine for opiates.
  • Subjects must fulfill Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) criteria for opioid dependence.
  • Subjects must have a history of cocaine use, with a reported street cocaine use of a minimum of 1/2 gram during the preceding 30 days.
  • Subjects must meet DSM-IV criteria for cocaine dependence or abuse, and have laboratory confirmation of recent cocaine use (positive urine for cocaine) during the month prior to study entry.
  • Subjects must be treatment-seekers for opioid and cocaine use.
  • Subjects must have smoked at least 10 cigarette per day for at least one year. Varenicline's safety has only been studied in smokers.

Exclusion Criteria:

  • History of heart disease, left ventricular hypertrophy, ischemic ECG changes, chest pain, arrhythmia, hypertension.
  • History of severe renal or hepatic diseases.
  • History of psychosis, schizophrenia, bipolar or major depressive disorder.
  • History of seizure disorder.
  • Current diagnosis of alcohol, benzodiazepine and other drug abuse or dependence (other than opiates, cocaine, and nicotine).
  • Current use of over-the-counter or prescription psychoactive drugs (antidepressant, anxiolytics, antipsychotics, mood stabilizers, psychostimulants).
  • Liver function tests (ALT or AST) greater than 3 times normal.
  • Known allergy to varenicline or methadone.

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT00567320

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United States, Connecticut
Veterans Hopsital
West Haven, Connecticut, United States, 06516
Sponsors and Collaborators
Yale University
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
US Department of Veterans Affairs
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Principal Investigator: James Poling, Ph.D. Yale University

Publications of Results:
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Responsible Party: James Poling, Principle Investigator, Yale University Identifier: NCT00567320     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: MIRECC 000000000
R01DA021264 ( U.S. NIH Grant/Contract )
DPMC ( Other Identifier: NIDA )
MIRECC 000000000 ( Registry Identifier: Department of Veterans Affairs )
First Posted: December 4, 2007    Key Record Dates
Results First Posted: April 9, 2012
Last Update Posted: February 6, 2013
Last Verified: January 2013

Keywords provided by James Poling, Yale University:

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Cocaine-Related Disorders
Tobacco Use Disorder
Substance-Related Disorders
Chemically-Induced Disorders
Mental Disorders
Nicotinic Agonists
Cholinergic Agonists
Cholinergic Agents
Neurotransmitter Agents
Molecular Mechanisms of Pharmacological Action
Physiological Effects of Drugs
Analgesics, Opioid
Central Nervous System Depressants
Sensory System Agents
Peripheral Nervous System Agents
Antitussive Agents
Respiratory System Agents
Anesthetics, Local
Vasoconstrictor Agents
Dopamine Uptake Inhibitors
Neurotransmitter Uptake Inhibitors
Membrane Transport Modulators
Dopamine Agents