Craving Cocaine? Try This Antipsychotic Instead.

Edson Sherwood Brown, an associate professor of psychiatry at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says he's come up with a new cure for those cocaine cravings: quetiapine. Whassat? Well, it's better known by its brand name, Seroquel, and it since its Federal Drug Administration approval a decade ago, it's been sold as an antipsychotic used to treat patients suffering from schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

But according to this patent issued last week by the U.S. Parent and Trademark Office, Brown has come up with "a method of treating cocaine dependence comprising of administering an effective amount of a composition comprising quetiapine or a pharmaceutically acceptable salt thereof to reduce cocaine cravings in a patient in need of treatment of cocaine dependence, wherein said quetiapine is a sole active agent."

Brown -- who heads the Psychoneuroendocrine Research Group at UT Southwestern, which studies substance abuse -- doesn't get the patent, though. That goes to AstraZeneca, the Swedish pharmaceutical company that makes the drug. --Robert Wilonsky

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