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San Diego researchers explore medication diversity
San Diego is home to a number of prominent research facilities. Striving to innovate in the scientific field, two local, independent establishments have explored various medications and their proposed uses. While one study has highlighted the ineffectiveness of varenicline, a popular drug used to quit smoking, a second research project is on the brink of discovering a new, possible migraine medication.
The first study – “Quitting smoking before and after varenicline: a population study based on two representative samples of U.S. smokers” – tackled the cessation of cigarette smoking, particularly through a popular drug introduced in recent years. The drug is commercially known as Chantix.
Shu-Hong Zhu, Ph.D., director of Center for Research and Intervention in Tobacco Control at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, and colleagues researched U.S. Census Bureau survey data on smoking demographics prior to and following varenicline’s introduction into the medical market. According to the researchers, the drug decreases nicotine cravings by attaching to nicotine brain receptors and regulating levels of dopamine, reward and pleasure.
The results of this analysis detailed that although the use of different pharmaceutical therapies increased from 28.7 to 31.1 percent between 2003 and 2011, the fraction of people who successfully quit their habit only increased from 4.5 to 4.7 percent during the same period. In addition, higher rates of individuals ceasing their cigarette use with varenicline only took place within the first three months, with sharp declines in success soon after. Overall, the authors concluded that Chantix and its other marketed forms are not a significant deterrent to smoking, so more effective solutions should be sought out.
Fund for research on new migraine drug
In other news, the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla has been granted $4.5 million from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke of the National Institutes of Health to research a new drug designed to treat migraine headaches. The funding could grow to $10 million.
Details on the new synthetic substance are still minimal, but according to Scripps professor Ed Roberts, Ph.D., the drug directly targets proteins involved with bodily stress and could prevent the onset of migraines in contrast to current medications that only relieve existing aches. Dr. Roberts added, “Migraine is the world’s most common neurological disorder, and the number one trigger for migraine is stress.” The research team includes fellow institute professor, Hugh Rosen, Ph.D., and colleagues at the University of Arizona.
For those in need to free themselves from excessive recreational or medicinal drug use, San Diego Drug Treatment Rehab Center is a service that gives local residents a second chance to live their lives to the fullest. Our consultants are available to hear your concerns regarding cases of pathology. If you or a loved one is dealing with an addiction to medication, contact us online or call 619-567-2107 to learn more about supportive options in your local community.