LAAM Induction: Behavioral Correlates
There has been great interest for the past few years in the development of 1-alpha-acetylmethadol (LAAM) as an alternative maintenance treatment agent for heroin addicts. This methadone derivative is capable of suppressing abstinence for up to 72 hours and this clinical effect is related to its biotransformation and accummulation of active metabolites, in particular noracetylmethadol (N-LAAM) and dinoracetylmethadol (DN-LAAM). As part of a cooperative pharmacokinetic study of LAAM between us and the University of Utah, we attempted to make certain observations on the patients’ cognitive functions and other behavioral parameters after each dosing, both during initial administration and after repeated dosing for several weeks, to see if these observations correlated with the level of active metabolites. This report deals with the correlation between the plasma level of the major metabolite N-LAAM and clinical observations including the results of several specific psychometric tests. It was anticipated that the results of these tests may reflect impairment or the lack thereof, in everyday functioning such as driving, operating equipment, ability to concentrate, memory, etc.
KeywordsActive Metabolite Digit Span Heroin Addict Everyday Functioning Operating Equipment
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