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Baclofen Effects on Marijuana Dependence

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT02011516
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : December 13, 2013
Results First Posted : June 14, 2017
Last Update Posted : June 14, 2017
Pennsylvania Department of Health
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Teresa Franklin, University of Pennsylvania

Brief Summary:

Studies show that certain reminders of drug use such as the sight of someone using marijuana, pictures of blunts, particular moments throughout the day, prompt marijuana users to smoke marijuana. We are measuring the brain and behavioral responses of marijuana dependent individuals to these reminders (cues) We will examine brain responses during cue exposure and determine whether these responses are associated with treatment outcome.

We are testing the hypothesis that the medication baclofen reduces brain responses during marijuana cue exposure and/or craving in marijuana dependent individuals. Baclofen is FDA-approved for other uses, but not for the treatment of marijuana dependence. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) will be used to measure the brain's response to marijuana cues. fMRI is a painless technique that takes special pictures of the brain (or other parts of your body). It does not involve radiation or injections.

Eligible participants will have a 50% chance of receiving placebo (sugar pill) and a 50% chance of receiving baclofen. Neither the participant nor study personnel will know whether participants are receiving baclofen or placebo. Participants will also receive twice weekly psychosocial treatment with a certified clinician. Twelve weeks of treatment will be followed by a 12 week follow up.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Marijuana Dependence Drug: Baclofen Behavioral: Psychosocial Drug: Placebo Phase 2

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 47 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Quadruple (Participant, Care Provider, Investigator, Outcomes Assessor)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: A Randomized Placebo-controlled Study of Baclofen on Brain and Behavioral Outcomes in Marijuana Dependence
Study Start Date : December 2013
Actual Primary Completion Date : June 2015
Actual Study Completion Date : June 2015

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

MedlinePlus related topics: Marijuana
Drug Information available for: Baclofen

Arm Intervention/treatment
Placebo Comparator: Sugar pill, psychosocial intervention
twice weekly appointments with a certified clinician
Behavioral: Psychosocial
Drug: Placebo
Other Name: Sugar pill

Active Comparator: Baclofen, psychosocial intervention
20 mg. q.i.d. twice weekly appointments with a certified clinician
Drug: Baclofen
Other Names:
  • Kemstro
  • Lioresal
  • Liofen
  • Gablofen
  • Beklo

Behavioral: Psychosocial

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Urine Drug Screen [ Time Frame: study weeks 1-12 ]
    Change from positive to negative over the 12 weeks of a medication regimen

Information from the National Library of Medicine

Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contacts provided below. For general information, Learn About Clinical Studies.

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Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 60 Years   (Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Physically healthy, as determined by a comprehensive physical examination and approval of the study physician, and mentally stable, as determined by a psychological evaluation by a licensed clinician, males or females who meet Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-IV (DSM-IV) criteria for marijuana dependence, ages 18-60.
  • Must be able to read. [Subjects are required to be able to read because there are several self-administered measures that they must read, understand and provide written answers.]
  • Females must be non-pregnant, non-lactating and either be of non-childbearing potential (i.e. sterilized via hysterectomy or bilateral tubal ligation or at least 1 year post-menopausal) or of child bearing potential but practicing a medically acceptable method of birth control. Examples of medically acceptable methods for this protocol include barrier (diaphragm or condom) with spermicide, an intrauterine device (IUD), the Nuvaring, oral contraceptives, levonorgestrel implant, hormonal injection or complete abstinence.
  • Intelligence quotient of ≥ 80.
  • Provide voluntary informed consent.

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Participation in a clinical trial and receipt of investigational drug(s) during the previous 60 days.
  • Presence of magnetically active irremovable prosthetics, plates, pins, permanent retainer, bullets, etc. (unless a radiologist confirms that it's presence is unproblematic). An x-ray may be obtained to determine eligibility given the possibility of a foreign body.
  • Current use of non-removable medicated or nicotine skin patches.
  • Current or prior gambling problems (assessed by subject's self-report).
  • Current treatment for marijuana dependence.
  • Any other current drug dependence diagnoses (except nicotine dependence).
  • Any other psychiatric diagnoses. Current diagnosis/recent history (within past 6 months) of Major Depressive Disorder (MDD).
  • History of head trauma or injury causing loss of consciousness, lasting more than three (3) minutes or associated with skull fracture or inter-cranial bleeding or abnormal Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI).
  • Claustrophobia or other medical condition preventing subject from lying in the MRI for approximately one (1) hour.
  • Clinically significant cardiovascular, hematologic, hepatic (liver), renal (kidney), neurological, or endocrinological abnormalities, bloodwork, and/or electrocardiogram (EKG).
  • Uncontrolled diabetes or uncontrolled hypertension.
  • History of psychosis, seizures, or organic brain syndrome.
  • Vision problems that cannot be corrected with glasses.
  • Weight exceeding 300 pounds [Imaging data acquisition is impaired with high weight individuals].
  • History of stroke.


  • Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) positive on medication for symptoms. This will be determined on an individual basis by results from the physical examination and final approval by our study physician; all results from the physical within normal range for study inclusion.
  • Use of medications or natural herbs that cause sedation or affect the brain systems that are being studied. Medication use will be evaluated by our study physician on a case-by-case basis. For example, if the subject takes Benadryl but can safely refrain from use 24 hours prior to scanning sessions, they will not be excluded.
  • Significant history of past alcohol or substance abuse.

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT02011516

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United States, Pennsylvania
University of Pennsylvania Center for Studies of Addiction
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States, 19104
Sponsors and Collaborators
University of Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania Department of Health
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Principal Investigator: Teresa R Franklin, Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania

Additional Information:
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Responsible Party: Teresa Franklin, Research Assistant Professor of Neuroscience in Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania Identifier: NCT02011516     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 818755
CURE CANN ( Other Identifier: Center for the Studies of Addiction )
First Posted: December 13, 2013    Key Record Dates
Results First Posted: June 14, 2017
Last Update Posted: June 14, 2017
Last Verified: June 2017
Keywords provided by Teresa Franklin, University of Pennsylvania:
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Marijuana Abuse
Substance-Related Disorders
Chemically-Induced Disorders
Mental Disorders