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2022 Sep 12

Am J Drug Alcohol Abuse

Safety and tolerability of progesterone treatment for women with cocaine use disorder: a pilot treatment trial.


Oliva A, Reed SC, Brooks DJ, Levin FR, Evans SM
Am J Drug Alcohol Abuse. 2022 Sep 12:1-10.
PMID: 36095308.


Problematic cocaine use remains a significant public health issue, particularly among women. However, no concerted efforts have been made to target a pharmacological treatment option for women with cocaine use disorder (CUD) despite preclinical, human laboratory, and a limited number of clinical studies demonstrating that progesterone can attenuate the effects of cocaine to a greater extent in women than men. To evaluate the safety, tolerability, and preliminary efficacy of progesterone for treating women with CUD. A 10-week double-blind randomized treatment trial was conducted. Prior to randomization, participants were required to achieve cocaine abstinence (1 week) before assignment to progesterone (up to 400 mg/day) or placebo. The primary efficacy outcomes were days to relapse and cocaine abstinence during the last 3 weeks of the trial. The frequency of side effects was also assessed. 227 women were assessed for eligibility. Twenty-five women entered treatment and 21 were randomized to progesterone (n = 11) or placebo (n = 10). The majority of women relapsed in less than 4 days with no differences between the two groups. Further, there were no significant differences between the progesterone and placebo groups in terms of cocaine abstinence during the last 3 weeks of the trial (27% and 10% respectively). The most commonly reported side effects were headache and fatigue, but no group differences were noted. Progesterone was well tolerated and safe and supports further study is in a larger sample to determine if exogenous progesterone is an effective treatment option for women with CUD.(ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT00632099).