Quetiapine Shows Positive Responses in Methamphetamine Abuse

Quetiapine in patients with comorbid methamphetamine and opioid abuse showed improvements in depressive symptoms, sleep quality, and some cognitive function.

The new antipsychotic quetiapine was found to have positive effects on cognitive function and other clinical parameters in patients with a history of methamphetamine abuse undergoing methadone maintenance treatment, according to results from a study published in the Journal of Affective Disorders.

Researchers conducted a randomized study of 60 patients with a history of methamphetamine and opioid abuse undergoing methadone maintenance treatment. Study participants received either quetiapine 100 mg daily or placebo for a total of 8 weeks. Clinical outcomes measured were cognitive function, depression, and quality of sleep, which were assessed using the Trail Making Test, Beck Depression Inventory, and Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, respectively.

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After analysis, the researchers found that patients treated with quetiapine had significantly reduced depression (score difference, −3.94; 95% CI, −7.73 to −0.16; P =.04) and sleep disorder (score difference, −2.18; 95% CI, −2.89 to −1.47; P <.001) scores compared with placebo. In addition, they reported that certain subscores of the Trail Making Test, such as the Verbal Fluency Test (P =.001) and Iowa Gambling Task (P =.009) were also significantly improved vs placebo.

One key limitation of the study was the short duration of follow-up.

“Further evidence [is] needed to show the relative impact of quetiapine on [methamphetamine] and opioid co-abuse under [methadone maintenance treatment],” the researchers wrote.


Javdan NS, Ghoreishi FS, Sehat M, Ghaderi A, Banafshe HR. Mental health and cognitive function responses to quetiapine in patients with methamphetamine abuse under methadone maintenance treatment. J Affect Disord. 2019;251:235-241.