Topiramate for cocaine dependence during methadone maintenance treatment: A randomized controlled trial

Annie Umbricht, Anthony DeFulio, Erin L. Winstanley, D. Andrew Tompkins, Jessica Peirce, Miriam Mintzer, Eric C. Strain, George E. Bigelow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Background: Dual dependence on opiate and cocaine occurs in about 60% of patients admitted to methadone maintenance and negatively impacts prognosis (Kosten et al. 2003. Drug Alcohol Depend. 70, 315). Topiramate (TOP) is an antiepileptic drug that may have utility in the treatment of cocaine dependence because it enhances the GABAergic system, antagonizes the glutamatergic system, and has been identified by NIDA as one of only a few medications providing a "positive signal" warranting further clinical investigation. (Vocci and Ling, 2005. Pharmacol. Ther. 108, 94). Method: In this double-blind controlled clinical trial, cocaine dependent methadone maintenance patients (N= 171) were randomly assigned to one of four groups. Under a factorial design, participants received either TOP or placebo, and monetary voucher incentives that were either contingent (CM) or non-contingent (Non-CM) on drug abstinence. TOP participants were inducted onto TOP over 7 weeks, stabilized for 8 weeks at 300. mg daily then tapered over 3 weeks. Voucher incentives were supplied for 12 weeks, starting during the fourth week of TOP induction. Primary outcome measures were cocaine abstinence (Y/N) as measured by thrice weekly urinalysis and analyzed using Generalized Estimating Equations (GEE) and treatment retention. All analyses were intent to treat and included the 12-week evaluation phase of combined TOP/P treatment and voucher intervention period. Results: There was no significant difference in cocaine abstinence between the TOP vs. P conditions nor between the CM vs. Non-CM conditions. There was no significant TOP/CM interaction. Retention was not significantly different between the groups. Conclusion: Topiramate is not efficacious for increasing cocaine abstinence in methadone patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)92-100
Number of pages9
JournalDrug and alcohol dependence
StatePublished - Jul 1 2014


  • Antiepileptic
  • Cocaine dependence
  • Contingency Management
  • GABA
  • Glutamate
  • Topiramate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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