Figure 7 Current FDA approved medications for treatment of drug addiction.

Table 4 Medications approved by the FDA for substance abuse disorders



Mechanism of action and/or target




Cocaine and methamphetamine

Disulfiram (Antabuse)

Naltrexone (Revia) Acamprosate

Diazepam or lorazepam



Buprenorphine + naloxone

Levo-a-acetyl-methadol (LAAM)

Naltrexone (Revia, Trexan)

Nicotine delivered via a transdermal patch, gum, lozenge, oral inhaler or intranasal spray Sustained release bupropion


Disulfiram interferes with alcohol metabolism producing unpleasant side effects due to the accumulation of acetaldehyde Relapse prevention. Naltrexone is a m opioid antagonist

Relapse prevention; the mechanism of action remains to be determined, but may involve blockade of NMDA receptors and actions Facilitate GABAergic transmission; Management of alcohol withdrawal Long-acting m opioid agonist

Long-acting m opioid agonist Naloxone, a narcotic antagonist, is inactive after oral administration but will prevent the effects of buprenorphine if it were injected intravenously Long-acting m opioid agonist m opioid antagonist

Agonist at the nicotinic cholinergic receptor

Antidepressant with actions on the dopaminergic and noradrenergic systems

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