Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Donepezil (Aricept) blocks cocaine's, but not methamphetamine's, effects

Donepezil is used to manage the early symptoms of Alzheimer's Disease and is available as the Aricept preparation.  It is a cholinesterase inhibitor, and increases acetylcholine levels in brain.  Our lab group recently reviewed a paper by Takamatsu and colleages on donepezil's efficacy to block the conditioned reinforcing (place preference) and locomotor activating properties of cocaine and methamphetamine in mice.  While it diminished the effects of cocaine, it was ineffective to alter methamphetamine's effects in this study.  Considering the efficacy of other cholinergic ligands (e.g., lobeline) to alter methamphetamine's effects, these findings were surprising to us.

Reference - Takamatus Y. et al. (2006) Differential effects of donepezil on methamphetamine and cocaine depedencies.  Ann NY Acad Sci 1074: 418

1 comment:

  1. This was most interesting to me since other cholinergic ligands alter meth effects.