Effect of add-on valproate on craving in methamphetamine depended patients: A randomized trial


1 Behavioral Sciences Research Center, Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran

2 Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran


Background: Methamphetamine dependence lead to the compulsive use, loss of control, and social and occupational dysfunctions. This study aimed to compare the effect of valproate in reducing the craving in methamphetamine dependents.
Materials and Methods: This is a randomized, double-blind, controlled clinical trial on 40 men of 18–40 years old referred to Noor Hospital during December 2012–September 2013 in Isfahan, Iran. The subjects participated in matrix program and randomly were divided into two groups of valproate and placebo. A 4-months program of intervention with valproate or placebo was arranged for each group. The rate of craving to methamphetamine and positive methamphetamine urine tests were evaluated in both groups every 2 weeks using cocaine craving questionnaire-brief (CCQ-Brief) and urine test. After the 4 months (active treatment with valproate and placebo), the drug was tapered and discontinued within 10 days, and patients were introduced to self-help groups and monitored regularly on a weekly basis over another 3 months. Collected data were analyzed with SPSS 20 using analysis of covariance repeated measure, Chi-square, and t-test.
Results: CCQ score of the intervention group was significantly less than the placebo group (P < 0.001), except on weeks 1, 3, and 28. The ratio of a positive urine test for methamphetamine in the intervention group was significantly lower than the control group in all screenings except weeks 3 and 28.
Conclusion: Adding valproate to matrix program in the treatment of methamphetamine dependence showed significant effect on the reduction of the craving to methamphetamine.


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