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Papers of the Week

Papers: 3 Dec 2022 - 9 Dec 2022

2022 Dec 02

Behav Brain Res

Effect of Amoxicillin/Clavulanic acid in attenuating Pregabalin-induced Condition Place Preference.


Hammad AM, Naser A'a, Amawi H, Hall SF, Tiwari AK, Al-Trad B
Behav Brain Res. 2022 Dec 02:114244.
PMID: 36470419.


Substance abuse is a worldwide problem with serious repercussions for patients and the communities where they live. Pregabalin (Lyrica), is a medication commonly used to treat neuropathic pain. Like other analgesic medications there has been concern about pregabalin abuse and misuse. Although it was initially suggested that pregabalin, like other gabapentinoids, has limited abuse liability, questions still remain concerning this inquiry. Changes in glutamate system homeostasis are a hallmark of adaptations underlying drug dependence, including down-regulation of the glutamate transporter 1 (GLT-1; SLC1A2) and the cystine/glutamate antiporter (xCT; SLC7A11). In this study, it was found that pregabalin (90mg/kg) produces a conditioned place preference (CPP), indicative of reinforcing effects that suggest a potential for abuse liability. Moreover, like other drugs of abuse, pregabalin also produced alterations in glutamate homeostasis, reducing the mRNA expression of Slc1a2 and Slc7a11 in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). Amoxicillin clavulanic acid, a β-lactam antibiotic, blocked the reinforcing effects of pregabalin and normalized glutamate homeostasis. These results suggest that pregabalin has abuse potential that should be examined more critically, and that, moreover, the mechanisms underlying these effects are similar to those of other drugs of abuse, such as heroin and cocaine. Additionally, these results support previous findings showing normalization of glutamate homeostasis by β-lactam drugs that provides a novel potential therapeutic approach for the treatment of drug abuse and dependence.