A placebo-controlled screening trial of celecoxib for the treatment of cocaine dependence


Malcolm S. Reid PhD
Department of Psychiatry
New York University School of Medicine
116 A, 423 E. 23rd Street
New York
NY 10010
E-mail: malcolm.reid@med.va.gov


Aims  To conduct a medication screening trial study on the efficacy of celecoxib versus placebo for the treatment of cocaine dependence.

Design  A modified blinded, parallel group study in an outpatient setting using the Cocaine Rapid Efficacy and Safety Trials (CREST) study design.

Setting  The study was performed at the New York Medications Development Research Unit (MDRU).

Participants  All participants met Diagnostic and Statistical Manual version IV (DSM-IV) criteria for cocaine dependence and provided at least two urine samples positive for benzoylecgonine (BE) during the 2-week screening period. Twenty-three participants were enrolled in the treatment phase of the study.

Intervention  After a 2-week screening period, subjects were assigned randomly to receive either celebrex (200 mg/day) or placebo for an 8-week treatment period. All subjects also received individual cognitive behavioral counseling during treatment.

Measurements  Primary outcome measures included quantitative urine benzoylecgonine (BE) levels, self-report of drug use and global impression scores. Secondary outcomes included cocaine craving, study retention and related psychosocial measures. Safety measures included adverse event monitoring, vital signs and extrapyramidal side-effects tests.

Results  Study retention was similar across both treatment groups and safety measures indicated that celecoxib was moderately tolerated. Cocaine use, as measured by self-report and urine BE levels at end of treatment, indicated weaker improvement in the celecoxib group. Reductions in the intensity of cocaine craving were also weaker in the celecoxib group. Cocaine abstinence rates, global impression scores and all other related psychometric measures did not differ significantly between treatment groups.

Conclusion  This study does not support the effectiveness of celecoxib for the treatment of cocaine dependence.