Efficacy and safety of psychostimulants for amphetamine and methamphetamine use disorders: a systematic review and meta-analysis
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BACKGROUND: Amphetamine and methamphetamine use disorders are associated with severe health and social consequences. No pharmacological therapy has been approved for the treatment of these disorders. Psychostimulants can act as maintenance-like therapies for managing substance use among these patients. The aim of this study is to evaluate the literature examining the efficacy and safety of psychostimulant agents for increasing abstinence and treatment retention among patients with amphetamine and methamphetamine use disorders. METHODS: We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, PsycInfo, Cochrane Central, and CINAHL from inception to August 2016. Selection of studies, data extraction, and risk of bias assessment were conducted independently by two reviewers. We conducted meta-analyses to provide a pooled summary estimate for included trials and report the review according to PRISMA guidelines. RESULTS: We identified and selected 17 studies with 1387 participants. Outcome reporting across trials was inconsistent, and the overall quality of evidence was very low due to high risk of bias and indirectness. A meta-analysis of five trials (642 participants) found no effect of psychostimulants for end-of-study abstinence (odds ratio = 0.97, 95% confidence interval 0.65 to 1.45). Additionally, the pooled estimate from 14 studies (1184 participants) showed no effect of psychostimulants for treatment retention (odds ratio = 1.20, 95% confidence interval = 0.91 to 1.58). The incidence of serious adverse events did not differ between intervention and placebo groups based on qualitative reports from trials. CONCLUSIONS: Quantitative analyses showed no effect of psychostimulants for sustained abstinence or treatment retention. We also identified the need for more rigorous studies in this research area with clinician and patient important outcomes.