Clinical trial for the treatment of methamphetamine dependence

A clinical trial is underway into treating methamphetamine dependence. Picture credit: ABC News

Australia has one of the highest rates of methamphetamine dependence in the world.

While counselling is effective for many people with less severe dependence, there is no proven medication treatment for severe dependence.

Lisdexamfetamine is a stimulant of the brain and is approved in Australia for the treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

It is a once-daily oral medication converted to dexamphetamine in the blood.

Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD) is taking part in the LiMA study to test if lisdexamfetamine is effective in reducing methamphetamine use, cravings and withdrawal symptoms.

This will be a randomised double-blind placebo-controlled study which means that one group will receive lisdexamfetamine and another will receive a placebo (a medication with no active ingredients), in addition to counselling.

Participants, clinicians and researchers involved in the study will not know to which group they have been allocated.

The two groups will be compared and the findings will contribute to evidence for the future use of lisdexamfetamine in the treatment of methamphetamine dependence.

The aim is to recruit 180 people to the LiMA study which will be conducted in specialist treatment centres in Sydney, Newcastle and Adelaide.

If you would like to be potentially be involved in the LiMA study contact Jennifer Luksza at WSLHD Drug Health Cumberland Hospital clinic on 0407 273 419 and Meryem Jefferies at WSLHD Drug Health Blacktown and Mt Druitt clinics on 0437 874 156.

This research project has been approved by St Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney Human Research Ethics Committee; reference number HREC/16/SVH/222.