Dr. Shoptaw recently co-authored a paper in The New England Journal of Medicine, titled “Naltrexone plus Bupropion in Methamphetamine Use Disorder.” Currently, there is no medication approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of methamphetamine use disorder. In the paper, Dr. Shoptaw and co-authors discuss a clinical trial that examined two drugs-Naltrexone and Bupropion-used in combination to help those with methamphetamine use disorder avoid relapse. Bupropion is a stimulant like anti-depressant that acts through the norepinephrine and dopamine systems and might alleviate the dysphoria associated with methamphetamine withdrawal that drives continued use. Naltrexone is an opioid-receptor antagonist effective for the treatment of opioid use disorder. The clinical trial found that 1 in 9 patients who used the two medications together saw signs of improvement. These results suggest that taken in combination, Naltrexone and Bupropion might be effective for the treatment of severe methamphetamine use disorder. Dr. Nora Volkow- director of the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA), recently spoke to National Public Radio (NPR) about the study. For more information about the interview, visit here.


To read the paper in its entirety visit the New England Journal of Medicine’s website or click here.


CBAM is a multidisciplinary center that seeks to advance the prevention and treatment of chronic illnesses, especially in communities with health disparities. As part of the UCLA Department of Family Medicine, CBAM works at the intersection of academia and community with a focus on treating addictions and preventing the spread of HIV.

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