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Temple Researchers Receive NIDA Grant to Study Cocaine Addiction Treatment

June 16, 2020

Researchers at Temple University have received a $1.77 million grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse to study the effects of a therapy for the treatment of cocaine use disorder, according to a report published by the Philly Voice.

Clavulanic acid is part of the existing therapy Augmentin, which is combined with amoxicillin to treat bacterial infections. The Temple study will focus the potential for clavulanic acid to interfere with cravings and re-establish healthy brain function among cocaine users. Preclinical studies on animals showed that clavulanic acid reduces the cocaine-induced activation of reward pathways that are responsible for cocaine users’ continued engagement in drug-seeking behavior.

The study will be conducted by Mary Morrison, MD, MS, vice chair for research and a psychiatry professor at Temple's Lewis Katz School of Medicine, and Scott Rawls, PhD, a professor who studies the pharmacology of drugs of abuse.

In the first phase of the study, researchers will study participants who take clavulanic acid for one year as they are treated for cocaine use disorder. If the drug is found to be safe and well-tolerated, NIDA will provide additional funds to expand the program for a study of outpatient treatment in multiple states.

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