Last updated on February 2020

Targeting Orexin to Treat Nicotine Dependence


Brief description of study

Tobacco smoking continues to be the primary cause of preventable mortality in the United States. Despite the availability of smoking cessation aids, the majority of those trying to quit smoking end up relapsing. Thus, there is a strong need to evaluate alternative treatment targets such as orexin antagonists, which have shown promise in preclinical models at reducing the motivational aspects of drug use.The current work will evaluate the influence of orexin antagonism on several factors impacting the motivation to smoke.

Detailed Study Description

Tobacco use leads to ~440,000 deaths and a loss of $193 billion every year in the US. This public health and economic crisis continues as no interventions effectively prevent smoking relapse. Between 40-70% of smokers are unable to maintain abstinence and 75% of those who do attain abstinence will relapse within one-year. These relapse rates remain high even when using currently available cessation aids, which primarily target the cholinergic system, suggesting the need for medications with novel targets such as orexin. The current proposal will improve scientific knowledge and/or clinical practice by translating preclinical research on orexin into the clinical domain by indicating: 1) whether orexin antagonism attenuates motivational factors associated with smoking relapse, 2) whether suvorexant shows promise as a smoking cessation aid, or 3) whether suvorexant contributes too many unwanted side effects despite mitigating the motivation to smoke, thus confirming the role of orexin in nicotine dependence and indicating the need to develop more specific orexin antagonists.

Clinical Study Identifier: NCT03999099

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McLean Hospital

Belmont, MA United States
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Recruitment Status: Open


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