The first study comparing a new addiction treatment, Prometa, to a placebo was released Thursday by Hythiam, the Santa Monica, Calif., company that owns the rights to Prometa.
In the 30-day study, 67 meth-addicted subjects got Prometa, and 67 got a placebo.
Meth cravings dropped in both groups, but dropped more in the Prometa group.
A combined-craving score dropped 31.1 points in the group that got Prometa, and 20.9 points in the placebo group, a statistically significant difference, according to a Hythiam press release.
However, the difference in the two group’s self-reported meth use at the end of the study was not statistically significant, the release said. The Prometa group reported a 60.8 percent drop in meth use; the placebo group a 49.6 percent drop.
Hythiam funded the study, but had no control over the data or its analysis, said spokesman Tim Sullivan.
It was conducted by a Dallas researcher, Dr. Harold Urschel, who is expected to present the results at a medical conference in November, Sullivan said.
The results have not been published in a peer-reviewed medical journal, but Sullivan said they will be submitted for publication.
The study “looks pretty good,” said Jim Boyle, deputy director of the Pierce County Alliance, a provider of Prometa, a regimen that includes three generic drugs, counseling and supplements.
Boyle said he suspects that if the study were longer, there would be even greater differences between the Prometa and the placebo group.
“The time frame is a little bit too short to really distinguish” the two, he said, noting that longer-term studies comparing Prometa to a placebo are due out next year.
Boyle also noted there were no adverse reactions to Prometa in the study.
University of Washington addiction expert Dr. Andrew Saxon said the results suggest Prometa “has some promise,” but they are “not sufficient to say this is an effective regimen.”
It’s “preliminary data,” Saxon said.
M. Alexander Otto: 253-597-8616