Pramipexole as a Treatment for Cocaine Dependence

This study has been completed.
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Thomas Newton, Baylor College of Medicine Identifier:
First received: February 20, 2012
Last updated: July 18, 2014
Last verified: July 2014
The purposes of this study are as follows: 1. To assess the cardiovascular and subjective effects of cocaine during treatment with pramipexole and placebo. 2. To assess the reinforcing effects of cocaine, measured using choice procedures, during treatment with pramipexole and placebo.

Condition Intervention Phase
Cocaine Addiction
Cocaine Abuse
Cocaine Dependence
Substance Abuse
Drug: Pramipexole
Drug: Placebo
Phase 1

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Endpoint Classification: Safety/Efficacy Study
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Double Blind (Subject, Caregiver, Investigator, Outcomes Assessor)
Official Title: Pramipexole as a Treatment for Cocaine Dependence

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by Baylor College of Medicine:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • The effects of pramipexole and cocaine on cardiovascular measures [ Time Frame: 16 days ] [ Designated as safety issue: Yes ]
    Before and after each cocaine infusion, physiologic responses will be closely monitored using repeated HR, BP, and ECG readings. To evaluate safety, a DSMB will meet annually and following any serious AE to examine data as well as any new published information on pramipexole relevant to the project. The number of AEs (including arrhythmias and ECG changes), changes in BP and HR, and changes in mood and psychiatric symptoms (using the BSI, BDI, POMS, and BPRS) will also be assessed throughout the study.

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • The effects of pramipexole and cocaine on subjective measures [ Time Frame: 16 days ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
    The ability of pramipexole, as compared to placebo, to reduce cocaine-induced craving and to reduce reinforcing effects produced by cocaine will be measured by: 1. VAS, Adjective Scales, and MCQ; 2. Choices for cocaine vs. money in the self-administration assay.

Enrollment: 10
Study Start Date: October 2011
Study Completion Date: December 2012
Primary Completion Date: December 2012 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Placebo Comparator: Placebo Drug: Placebo
Participants will receive matching placebo pills. The placebo group is included to maintain the blind, rather than as a comparison group.
Other Name: Sugar pill
Active Comparator: Pramipexole Drug: Pramipexole
Participants will receive pramipexole ER 0.375, .075, 1.5, 2.25, and 3mg/d in an ascending-dose pattern.
Other Name: Mirapex

Detailed Description:
In this protocol we propose to assess the impact of treatment with higher doses of the potent D2/3 agonist pramipexole, using the extended release preparation that has been shown to produce continuous DA receptor stimulation. Pramipexole is a non-ergot DA 3 receptor-preferring agonist. In contrast to pergolide, bromocriptine and cabergoline, it does not stimulate 5-HT2B receptors and therefore does not cause cardiac valvulopathy. It can therefore be safely used chronically at higher doses, whereas pergolide has been withdrawn from the market for causing cardiac valvulopathy.

Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 55 Years
Genders Eligible for Study:   Both
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Be English-speaking volunteers who are not seeking treatment at the time of the study. We require proficiency in English to ensure good communication with staff.
  • Be aged between 18 and 55 years.
  • Meet DSM-IV TR criteria for cocaine dependence.
  • Have a self-reported history of using cocaine by the IV or smoked route.
  • Have vital signs as follows: supine blood pressure > 100/65 mm Hg, a seated blood pressure of > 90/60 mm Hg, and an orthostatic change < 20 mm Hg systolic or <10 mm Hg diastolic on standing. To ensure that subjects will not be at risk from cocaine, the resting pulse must be < 90 bpm and the blood pressure must be < 150 mmHg systolic and < 90 mmHg diastolic.
  • Have hematology and chemistry laboratory tests that are within reference limits (±10%), with the following exceptions: (a) total bilirubin must be < 2x upper limit of normal and ALT, AST, and alkaline phosphatase <3× the upper limit of normal and (b) kidney function tests (creatinine and BUN) within normal limits.
  • Have a baseline ECG that demonstrates clinically normal sinus rhythm, clinically normal conduction, and no clinically significant arrhythmias.
  • Have a medical history and brief physical examination demonstrating no clinically significant contraindications for study participation, in the judgment of the admitting physician and the principal investigator.

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Have any history or evidence suggestive of seizure disorder or brain injury.
  • Have any previous medically adverse reaction to cocaine, including loss of consciousness, chest pain, or epileptic seizure.
  • Have neurological or psychiatric disorders, such as: psychosis, bipolar illness or major depression as assessed by SCID; organic brain disease or dementia assessed by clinical interview; history of any psychiatric disorder that would require ongoing treatment or that would make study compliance difficult; and history of suicide attempts within the past year and/or current suicidal ideation/plan.
  • Have evidence of clinically significant heart disease or hypertension, as determined by the PI.
  • Have a family history in first-degree relatives of early cardiovascular morbidity or mortality, as determined by the PI.
  • Have evidence of untreated or unstable medical illness including neuroendocrine, autoimmune, renal, hepatic, or active infectious disease.
  • Have HIV and are currently symptomatic or are taking antiretroviral medication.
  • Be pregnant or nursing. Females must provide negative pregnancy urine tests upon hospital admission and at the end of study participation. Females must either be unable to conceive (i.e., surgically sterilized, sterile, or postmenopausal) or be using a reliable form of contraception (e.g., abstinence, birth control pills, intrauterine device, or condoms with spermicide).
  • Have asthma or currently use theophylline or other sympathomimetics.
  • Have any other illness, condition, or use of psychotropic medications, which in the opinion of the PI and/or the admitting physician would preclude safe and/or successful completion of the study.
  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT01651377

United States, Texas
Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center
Houston, Texas, United States, 77030
Sponsors and Collaborators
Baylor College of Medicine
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
  More Information

Publications automatically indexed to this study by Identifier (NCT Number):
Responsible Party: Thomas Newton, Professor, Baylor College of Medicine Identifier: NCT01651377     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: H-28454  5P50DA018197  DPMC 
Study First Received: February 20, 2012
Last Updated: July 18, 2014
Health Authority: United States: Food and Drug Administration

Keywords provided by Baylor College of Medicine:

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Cocaine-Related Disorders
Chemically-Induced Disorders
Mental Disorders
Substance-Related Disorders
Anti-Dyskinesia Agents
Antiparkinson Agents
Dopamine Agents
Dopamine Agonists
Molecular Mechanisms of Pharmacological Action
Neurotransmitter Agents
Physiological Effects of Drugs
Protective Agents processed this record on May 25, 2016