Participants Receiving Dehydroepiandrosterone during Treatment for Cocaine Dependence Show High Rates of Cocaine Use in a Placebo-Controlled Pilot Study

Steve Shoptaw, Jeffery Wilkins, Geoffrey Twitchell, Maria Dorota Majewska, Xiaowei Yang, Walter Ling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Scopus citations


Twenty-three cocaine-dependent participants were randomly assigned to receive either dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA; n = 11; 100 mg/day) or placebo (n = 12) in the context of 12 weeks of thrice weekly cognitive-behavioral group counseling. Outcomes were retention, urine drug screening, cocaine craving, adverse experiences, and medication compliance. DHEA-treated participants averaged 45.8 (SD = 28.8) days in treatment, compared with 70.7 (SD = 20.6) days for placebo, t(21) = -2.4, p = .03, and provided 26.8% (SD = 29.3) of urine samples free of cocaine metabolite compared with 70.6% (SD = 39.9) for the placebo condition, t(21) = -3.0, p = .01. No differences were detected between conditions for cocaine craving or adverse experiences. High levels of medication compliance were documented. Results argue against using high doses of DHEA as a pharmacotherapy for cocaine dependence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)126-135
Number of pages10
JournalExperimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2004


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology

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