Researchers from The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston have confirmed that a prescription weight-loss pill decreases the urge to use opiates such as oxycodone.
In a study published in ACS Chemical Neuroscience, the researchers led by UTMB scientist Kathryn Cunningham found that the drug, lorcaserin, reduced the use and craving for the opioid oxycodone in preclinical studies. Cunningham is director of UTMB’s Center for Addiction Research and a professor in the department of Pharmacology and Toxicology.
Opiate abuse is a major public health problem and according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of deaths from prescription opiate overdose in America has quadrupled since 1999. High relapse rates and too few people remaining in treatment programs long enough for it to really benefit them continues to pose major challenges in treatment for the misuse of prescription opiates such as oxycodone and illegal opiates such as heroin.