Inhalant Addiction

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GAMMA-VINYL-GABA (GVG) or VIGABATRIN (SabrilĀ®)

What it does: An anti epileptic drug which reduces cravings for inhalants and other drugs (cocaine, heroin, nicotine)

How it works: The medication increases the amount of the neurotransmitter GABA in the brain, which decreases dopamine production. An appropriate dose of vigabatrin taken before exposure to nicotine, cocaine or inhalants (which increase dopamine production) can block their effects on the brain.

Side effects: Sleepiness, dizziness, weakness, muscle pain, weight gain and shaking. For a more complete list of side effects visit this NIH page.

Availability: Physician prescription

Research: A 2004 study at the U.S. Department of Energy showed that animals previously trained to expect toluene (a substance found in inhalants) in a given location spent far less time "seeking" toluene in that location after being treated with GVG than animals treated with a placebo. This elimination of craving is similar to the aversion seen in earlier studies of GVG with cocaine, nicotine and heroin.
Lee DE, Schiffer WK, Dewey SL. Gamma-vinyl GABA (vigabatrin) blocks the expression of toluene-induced conditioned place preference (CPP). Synapse. 54(3):183-5, 2004.

For more information: www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/meds/a610016.html

Updated November 21, 2014