Cognitive Enhancement as a Target for Cocaine Pharmacotherapy



Trial Phase


Trial Purpose and Description

Trial Purpose

Specific Aim #1: To determine if galantamine (8 or 16 mg/day) is more effective than placebo in reducing cocaine use as measured by cocaine urine results and self-report days of use.

Specific Aim # 2: To determine if galantamine (8 or 16 mg/day) is more effective than placebo in improving attention, assessed with the Rapid Visual Information Processing (RVIP) and the Simple Reaction Time (SRT) tests Specific Aim # 3: To determine if improvement in attention during the first four weeks of treatment will mediate galantamine's efficacy in reducing cocaine use.

Trial Description

This will be a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized clinical trial. One hundred and twenty cocaine-dependent men and women will be randomized to one of three treatment groups: placebo (n=40), 8 mg/day (n=40), and 16 mg/day (n=40) of extended release (ER) galantamine. An urn randomization will be used to balance the groups for gender, severity of cocaine use (measured by days of cocaine use), baseline cognitive functioning [determined via the Shipley Institute of Living Scale (SILS)], and smoking status. Gender and severity of cocaine use have been shown to predict treatment responses in cocaine users (76). Similarly, balancing the treatment groups for baseline cognitive functioning, assessed with the SILS scores, will minimize the influence of baseline differences on cognitive outcomes (77, 78). Smoking status is also an important baseline variable, given galantamine's actions on nicotinic receptors and its potential efficacy for smoking cessation (65). The initial dose of galantamine will be 8 mg/day as a single dose, as recommended for clinical use. For those assigned to 16 mg/day, the dose of galantamine will be increased to 16 mg at the end of week 4. Treatment groups will remain on their full dosage through week 13. All participants will receive contingency management (CM) targeting treatment compliance. In three previous cocaine pharmacotherapy trials using bupropion, desipramine or levodopa, medication efficacy on cocaine use was evident only when medications were combined with CM, but not with standard care (79-81). These findings provide a strong rationale for using CM in our clinical trial.

Recruitment is continuing. Currently there are 11 completers with 3 active (December 2013)

Participation Guidelines

18 Years - 55 Years

Eligibility Criteria

Inclusion Criteria:

1. Male and females, between the ages of 18 and 55

2. Are using cocaine more than once per week in the previous 30 days, provide a
cocaine-positive urine specimen at screening, and fulfill criteria for current
cocaine dependence according to DSM-IV

3. For women of child-bearing age, have a negative pregnancy test at screening, agree to
adequate contraception to prevent pregnancy, and agree to have monthly pregnancy

4. Are fluent in English and have a 6th grade or higher reading level; AND

5. Can commit to at least 12 weeks of treatment and are willing to be randomized to

Exclusion Criteria:

1. Meet DSM-IV psychiatric classifications for lifetime schizophrenia or bipolar
disorder, or have a depressive or anxiety disorder with current use of a prescribed
psychotropic medication that cannot be discontinued

2. Current DSM-IV diagnosis of drug or alcohol dependence (other than cocaine, or

3. Demonstrate significant medical conditions, including asthma or chronic obstructive
lung disease, history or current gastrointestinal ulcer, hepatic or renal deficit and
cardiac rhythm disturbances or any other medical conditions that the study physician
deems contraindicated for galantamine treatment

4. Use of other medications including:

- drugs that slow heart rate (e.g., beta-blockers), which may increase the risk of
bradycardia and atrioventricular (AV) block and

- non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs); increased potential for
developing ulcers/active or occult gastrointestinal bleeding

5. Have a screening liver function test (AST or ALT) greater than 3 times normal; OR

6. Known allergy or adverse reaction to galantamine
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Yale University
September 2011
Last Updated:
December 11, 2013
Study HIC#:
1007007119 ID: NCT01531153