Researchers at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center of Emory University in June published the results of their research showing that a combination of drug therapies significantly reduced cocaine use in nonhuman primates conditioned to self-administer the drug.
The researchers administer a combination of drugs that inhibit both dopamine and serotonin transport to a group of rhesus macaques who were conditioned to self-administer cocaine. In press release announcing the forthcoming publication of the results in the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, Yerkes’ Leonard Howell said,
It appears DAT (dopamine transport) inhibition serves to substitute for cocaine while SERT (serotonin) inhibition may limit the abuse potential of the medication. Our results, therefore, showing a combination of DAT and SERT inhibition were more effective than either alone are very promising.
According to Yerkes, this is the first time that a combination therapy has been shown to reduce cocaine use in nonhuman primates. According to the Yerkes press release, Howell will continue research into the combination therapy, turning to finding the optimal dosage level for reducing cocaine use.
Yerkes researchers discover combination of drug therapies reduces cocaine use in primates. Press Release, Emory University Health Sciences Center, May 24, 2004.