Can a combination of existing prescription drugs treat methamphetamine addiction?
When Childhood Pain Triggers Drinking Problems
by Neva J. Howell unless otherwise noted
Prometa for Drug Addictions –
Does it work for meth addiction?
The Link Between Addiction and Self Esteem
Did you catch the interview Scott Peleg did with Terren Peizer, about the new prescription drug treatment called Prometa that his publically traded company, Hythiam Corp, is promoting as a treatment for meth addiction? I perk up my ears whenever I hear that anything at all might help meth addicts because I know, from people in my community who have gotten addicted, just how very hard it is to stop meth once you start.
Meth is instantly addictive for most people who try it and very powerfully addictive. I watched someone I love lose about 10 pounds in 5 days and have seen good people go from vibrant and happy to totally devastated in a matter of months, from methamphetamine addiction.
Part of the reason meth is so dangerous is that it tends to get lumped in with other recreational drugs like pot, which many can take or leave. The vast majority of users cannot just “take or leave” meth. One time and most people are hooked, and hooked hard. It isn’t at all like experimenting with alcohol or cigarettes or pot. It hooks almost instantly.
Prometa isn’t one drug but actually a combination of three drugs that are already FDA approved for other things, but not used for drug addiction. The drugs are flumazenil, babapentin and hydroxyxine hydrochloride. Peizer believes that the three combined, and used as an addiction treatment in the form of injected infusions and pills, can stop the relentless craving an addict has for meth.
I always wonder about this because drugs decimate the body and the immune system and cause an over-acid ph that can also hurt the body. Since a lot of prescription drugs may be hard on liver or kidneys, and a drug addict may already have weak livers or kidneys, I wonder how safe it is to inject all three of these drugs together?
Safety simply wasn’t covered and since Peizer is not seeking FDA approval for Prometa, it may never be covered unless there’s a problem down the road.
Update, 2011: I did find a website questioning the safety of prometa for drug addiction treatment. The California Society of Addiction Medicine, or CSAM, reporting on a study which found Prometa to be ineffective as a drug treatment for methamphetamine addiction. In the study, Prometa was found to be no more effective than a placebo against meth withdrawal and detox symptoms. The 2011 article wasn’t the first time CSAM has cast doubt on the off-label use of flumazenil, gabapentin and hydroxyxine. They voiced concern in 2006 because it appeared there was not sufficient efficacy or safety information to warrant the approval of marketing these drugs as Prometa, for drug addiction therapy.
Piezer is making a LOT of money with Prometa so what are his motives, truly? And it offends me to my core that these treatments can cost as much as $15,000.00 a month. What drug addict has money like that? I wanted to hear what Scott had to say on Prometa, which is a Greek work that means “positive change” and I had some definite concerns after watching the broadcast.