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Clinical Trial of Topiramate for Cocaine Addiction

This study has been completed.
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Annie Umbricht, Johns Hopkins University Identifier:
First received: May 23, 2008
Last updated: June 13, 2014
Last verified: June 2014

May 23, 2008
June 13, 2014
February 2007
June 2011   (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
proportion of subjects achieving 3 consecutive weeks of cocaine abstinence as measured by urine samples free of cocaine metabolites [ Time Frame: Urine samples collected 3 times weekly from week 1 through 26 ]
Same as current
Complete list of historical versions of study NCT00685178 on Archive Site
symptom checklist [ Time Frame: weekly ]
Same as current
Not Provided
Not Provided
Clinical Trial of Topiramate for Cocaine Addiction
Clinical Trial of Topiramate for Cocaine Addiction

This is an outpatient clinical trial of topiramate for addressing cocaine dependence and reduction of cocaine associated behaviors in opiate dependent drug users maintained on methadone treatment.

The study aims to answer whether topiramate

  1. is safe and acceptable to methadone patients
  2. reduces cocaine use
  3. helps with collateral problems such as alcohol abuse, tobacco dependence, anxiety, PTSD and/or pain symptoms. The study will also evaluate topiramate effect on neuro-cognitive performance.
This is an outpatient clinical trial of topiramate treatment for cocaine dependence and reduction of cocaine-associated HIV risk behavior. Topiramate is of high current interest in this regard, having been identified my NIDA leadership as among only a small number of tested candidates providing a "positive signal" and warranting further clinical investigation (Vocci, 2005). Topiramate is a marketed antiepileptic that enhances the GABAergic system and antagonizes the glutamatergic system, both new targets in the search for anti-cocaine treatments. A published pilot trial has supported topiramate's efficacy, and it is especially intriguing as potentially beneficial against other disorders prevalent among drug users, such as mood, anxiety, panic disorders, PTSD, pain and cognitive dysfunction, that may contribute to drug use. Design/Methods: This is phase II, double-blind randomized (stratified) 4 group, 2x2 design, evaluating topiramate versus placebo under each of two levels of cocaine-abstinence motivation -- cocaine-abstinence-contingent versus non-contingent voucher incentives. Conduct will be in a methadone maintenance context to ensure adequate retention and adherence, with participants dually dependent on opioids and cocaine. The target topiramate stabilization dose is 300 mg/day (150 mg b.i.d.), with one dose per day being observed at the clinic. The voucher-incentive manipulation provides valuable information about the role of motivation in modulating medication effects; it also provides a positive control condition to document the sensitivity of the study methods for detecting therapeutic benefit. Enrollment will be 300 patients ( 240 completers, 60/group). Participation will be up to 33 weeks - Baseline/Placebo-Run-in (5 weeks), Randomized Medication Treatment (20 weeks, induction, stable dosing, taper), Randomized Voucher Treatment (12 weeks, embedded in Medication period), and Therapeutic Disposition (up to 8 weeks). Data analysis focuses on the 8-week period of stable dosing and concurrent vouchers. The primary outcome variable is days abstinent from cocaine, as determined by a combination of self-report and objective confirmation by quantitative urinalysis toxicology of cocaine metabolite levels and application of the "Preston" rule for determining abstinence. Secondary outcome variables are measures of adverse behaviors and symptoms commonly co-occurring in cocaine abusers (alcohol abuse, tobacco use, depression, anxiety, PTSD, pain, neuro-cognitive and psychomotor performance dysfunction) that may contribute to drug use and/or detrimental effects. Significance: This randomized controlled clinical trial will provide valuable information about the actions and therapeutic effectiveness of the promising candidate anti-cocaine pharmacotherapy topiramate, and about the conditions, correlates, and modulators of any observed effectiveness. It will also provide valuable methodological information contributing to the continuing evolution of clinical trial methods for evaluating potential drug abuse treatment medications.
Phase 2
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Double Blind (Participant, Care Provider, Investigator, Outcomes Assessor)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Cocaine Dependence
  • Drug: topiramate

    topiramate powder 0mg - 150 mg with lactate in blind capsules. Two capsules dispensed daily. One capsule ingested under supervision at the methadone window. One capsule to be ingested at home at bedtime. Participant is expected to return the empty blister pack on the following day.

    capsules are administered from week 4 through 25 of the trial

    Other Names:
    • topamax®
    • CAS 97240-79-4
  • Behavioral: Contingency Reinforcement
    monetary reward for self-reported cocaine abstinence confirmed by urine toxicology results
    Other Name: contingency management
  • Drug: placebo + NonCR
    participant receives placebo capsules and monetary reinforcers by chance, irrespective of cocaine use or abstinence
  • Experimental: 1 topiramate + CR
    topiramate and contingency reinforcement for urine sample confirming cocaine abstinence
    • Drug: topiramate
    • Behavioral: Contingency Reinforcement
  • Experimental: 2 topiramate + NonCR
    Topiramate and random reinforcement irrespective of cocaine use
    Intervention: Drug: topiramate
  • Placebo Comparator: 4 Placebo + NonCR
    Intervention: Drug: placebo + NonCR
  • Active Comparator: 3 Placebo + CR
    Placebo and contingency reinforcement for urine sample confirming cocaine abstinence
    Intervention: Behavioral: Contingency Reinforcement
Umbricht A, DeFulio A, Winstanley EL, Tompkins DA, Peirce J, Mintzer MZ, Strain EC, Bigelow GE. Topiramate for cocaine dependence during methadone maintenance treatment: a randomized controlled trial. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2014 Jul 1;140:92-100. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2014.03.033. Epub 2014 Apr 16.

*   Includes publications given by the data provider as well as publications identified by Identifier (NCT Number) in Medline.
September 2011
June 2011   (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)

Inclusion Criteria:

  • 18 - 55 years old
  • active opioid and cocaine dependence
  • seeking treatment for cocaine and opioid dependence
  • eligible for methadone maintenance per state and federal regulations
  • able and willing to provide a urine sample thrice a week
  • willing to answer questionnaires on a weekly basis
  • willing to provide breath samples for presence of alcohol thrice weekly
  • fluent in the English language

Exclusion Criteria:

  • allergy to sulfonamide drugs
  • diabetes, respiratory insufficiency, renal tubular acidosis, renal insufficiency, heart failure, liver insufficiency, chronic diarrhea, other chronic diseases predisposing to a risk of acidosis
  • history of nephrolithiasis
  • HIV positive individuals who meet AIDS criteria by CDC criteria or are taking antiretroviral medications
  • serious psychiatric illness (psychosis, dementia)
  • glaucoma or family history of glaucoma
  • prostate hyperplasia, shy bladder, irritable bladder, difficulty providing urine samples on demand
  • female participants: being pregnant, lactating, or unwilling to use an effective method of contraception
  • use of antiepileptic agents
  • benzodiazepine dependence
  • latex allergy
Sexes Eligible for Study: All
18 Years to 55 Years   (Adult)
Contact information is only displayed when the study is recruiting subjects
United States
R01DA021808 ( US NIH Grant/Contract Award Number )
Not Provided
Not Provided
Not Provided
Annie Umbricht, Johns Hopkins University
Johns Hopkins University
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Principal Investigator: Annie Umbricht, M.D. Johns Hopkins University
Johns Hopkins University
June 2014

ICMJE     Data element required by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors and the World Health Organization ICTRP