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Lithium Cannabis Withdrawal Study

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: NCT00114439
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : June 15, 2005
Last Update Posted : September 27, 2007
The University of New South Wales
Information provided by:
Sydney South West Area Health Service

Tracking Information
First Submitted Date  ICMJE June 14, 2005
First Posted Date  ICMJE June 15, 2005
Last Update Posted Date September 27, 2007
Study Start Date  ICMJE September 2005
Primary Completion Date Not Provided
Current Primary Outcome Measures  ICMJE
 (submitted: February 1, 2006)
  • Severity of reported cannabis withdrawal symptoms
  • Treatment retention
  • Cannabis use
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Aggression/Anger
  • Sleep difficulty
Original Primary Outcome Measures  ICMJE
 (submitted: June 23, 2005)
  • Severity of reported cannabis withdrawal symptoms
  • Depression measure
  • Anxiety measure
  • Aggression measure
  • Sleep measure
Change History
Current Secondary Outcome Measures  ICMJE Not Provided
Original Secondary Outcome Measures  ICMJE
 (submitted: June 23, 2005)
  • Cannabis Situational Confidence measure
  • Retrospective Cannabis Use Diary
Current Other Pre-specified Outcome Measures Not Provided
Original Other Pre-specified Outcome Measures Not Provided
Descriptive Information
Brief Title  ICMJE Lithium Cannabis Withdrawal Study
Official Title  ICMJE An Open Label Trial of Lithium for the Management of Cannabis Withdrawal
Brief Summary This trial will examine the efficacy of lithium in providing symptomatic relief from the withdrawal discomfort experienced by some dependent users of cannabis on cessation of regular use. Significant withdrawal may be a barrier to achieving abstinence in some clients and can be associated with marked disturbances in mood, sleep, hostility and aggression. Relief from such symptoms may be important in helping some clients achieve a period of abstinence and facilitate subsequent entry into a relapse prevention program.
Detailed Description There are currently no accepted pharmacotherapies for the management of cannabis withdrawal. A recent study by Cui et al (2001) investigated the effects and mechanism of lithium on cannabinoid withdrawal in rats. The researchers found that lithium administration prevented the development of withdrawal symptoms, and suggested that increased oxytocin secretion resulting from lithium dosing prevented the withdrawal syndrome from occurring. Although caution should be exercised in generalising the results of an animal study, preliminary results of a small pilot study in humans are consistent with the potential utility of lithium in the management of human cannabis withdrawal (Zhang, personal communication). Furthermore, human use of lithium is well established and the addition of a readily available drug such as lithium carbonate would be a useful clinical tool should it prove efficacious in a series of clinical trials.
Study Type  ICMJE Interventional
Study Phase  ICMJE Phase 2
Study Design  ICMJE Allocation: Non-Randomized
Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment
Masking: None (Open Label)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Condition  ICMJE
  • Cannabis Dependence
  • Substance Withdrawal Syndrome
Intervention  ICMJE Drug: Lithium carbonate
Study Arms  ICMJE Not Provided
Publications * Cui SS, Bowen RC, Gu GB, Hannesson DK, Yu PH, Zhang X. Prevention of cannabinoid withdrawal syndrome by lithium: involvement of oxytocinergic neuronal activation. J Neurosci. 2001 Dec 15;21(24):9867-76.

*   Includes publications given by the data provider as well as publications identified by Identifier (NCT Number) in Medline.
Recruitment Information
Recruitment Status  ICMJE Completed
Estimated Enrollment  ICMJE
 (submitted: June 23, 2005)
Original Enrollment  ICMJE Same as current
Actual Study Completion Date  ICMJE September 2006
Primary Completion Date Not Provided
Eligibility Criteria  ICMJE

Inclusion Criteria:

  • DSM-IV diagnosis of cannabis dependence with at least a three-month history.
  • Seeking treatment for primary cannabis problem
  • Withdrawal identified as barrier to abstinence

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Other drug dependency (excluding nicotine)
  • Client is breastfeeding or pregnant.
  • Client has contraindicated medical or psychiatric conditions.
  • Client currently taking other medications that may interact with lithium.
  • Known hypersensitivity / side effects with Lithium.
  • Currently receiving Lithium from another source.
  • Currently prescribed any antidepressant / mood stabilising / antipsychotic medication.
  • Currently receiving opioid pharmacotherapy.
Sex/Gender  ICMJE
Sexes Eligible for Study: All
Ages  ICMJE 18 Years to 55 Years   (Adult)
Accepts Healthy Volunteers  ICMJE Yes
Contacts  ICMJE Contact information is only displayed when the study is recruiting subjects
Listed Location Countries  ICMJE Australia
Removed Location Countries  
Administrative Information
NCT Number  ICMJE NCT00114439
Other Study ID Numbers  ICMJE SSWAHS HREC 2005/047
Has Data Monitoring Committee Not Provided
U.S. FDA-regulated Product Not Provided
IPD Sharing Statement  ICMJE Not Provided
Responsible Party Not Provided
Study Sponsor  ICMJE Sydney South West Area Health Service
Collaborators  ICMJE The University of New South Wales
Investigators  ICMJE
Principal Investigator: Adam R Winstock, MBBS BSc MSc MRCP(UK) MRCP Corella Drug Treatment Service
PRS Account Sydney South West Area Health Service
Verification Date September 2007

ICMJE     Data element required by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors and the World Health Organization ICTRP