Wednesday March 27, 2019

Women Are More Prone To Drug Addiction Than Men

Women represent a particularly vulnerable population, with higher rates of addiction following exposure to drugs, said researcher Erin Calipari, Assistant Professor at Vanderbilt University in the US.

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Women represent a particularly vulnerable population, with higher rates of addiction following exposure to drugs, said researcher Erin Calipari, Assistant Professor at Vanderbilt University in the US. Pixabay

Women’s hormonal cycles may not only make them prone to drug addiction but are also affected by triggers that lead to relapse, new research has found.

When fertility-related hormone levels are high, females learn faster, make stronger associations to cues in their environment and are more inclined to seek rewards, according to a study published in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology.

Women represent a particularly vulnerable population, with higher rates of addiction following exposure to drugs, said researcher Erin Calipari, Assistant Professor at Vanderbilt University in the US.

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Females were willing to “pay” more in the presence of these cues to get cocaine, the findings showed. Pixabay

“Women becoming addicted to drugs may be a fundamentally different process than men,” she said. “It’s important to understand this, because it’s the first step in developing treatments that are actually effective,” Calipari said.

The next step, she said, would be to figure out specifics of how hormonal shifts affect women’s brains and, ultimately, develop medications that could help override those.

In this study, male and female rats were allowed to dose themselves with cocaine by pushing a lever, with a light set up to come on during dosing.

That’s similar to the environmental cues, such as drug paraphernalia, present when humans are taking drugs.

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The results are transferable to humans through behavioural economic analysis, which uses a complicated mathematical equation with values for the most and least a subject will do to get a payoff, said the study. Pixabay

When hormone levels were high, female rats made stronger associations with the light and were more likely to keep pushing the lever as much as it took to get any amount of cocaine.

Also Read: Conflicts with Your Mother in Childhood May Reduce Purpose in Life Later

Females were willing to “pay” more in the presence of these cues to get cocaine, the findings showed.

The results are transferable to humans through behavioural economic analysis, which uses a complicated mathematical equation with values for the most and least a subject will do to get a payoff, said the study. (IANS)

Next Story

Study Warns Patients That Now Drugs Contain Inactive Ingredient

Drugs can contain inactive compounds like gluten, lactose or specific dyes that can cause a reaction in certain patients

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FILE - Drugs can contain inactive compounds like gluten, lactose or specific dyes that can cause a reaction in certain patients. VOA

A new study is warning patients that if they feel worse after taking a new medication, it might not be because of the drug but rather an inactive ingredient in it.

The report published Wednesday in Science Translational Medicine says medications often contain “inactive” ingredients that can cause allergic reactions or gastrointestinal reactions in people sensitive to specific compounds.

Drugs can contain inactive compounds like gluten, lactose or specific dyes that can cause a reaction in certain patients.

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Drugs can contain inactive compounds like gluten, lactose or specific dyes that can cause a reaction in certain patients. Pixabay

“There’s a tremendous underappreciation of the potential impact that inactive ingredients may have,” said Dr. Giovanni Traverso, a gastroenterologist who spurred the research after his celiac patient’s trouble with medication that contained gluten as an inactive compound.

The study analyzed data on inactive ingredients from a database of more than 42,000 prescription and over-the-counter medicines. It found that an average pill contains eight inactive ingredients, but some contain 20 or even more.

ALSO READ: Longer Exposure to PM2.5 Raises Risk of Diabetes: Study

While most of the worrisome ingredients are in small amounts in most medications, the researchers pointed out that 39 percent of seniors take at least five prescription medicines daily, so even the tiniest amount can add up.

Drug manufacturers already put warnings on medications that contain refined peanut oil. And the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is considering a proposal that recommends adding gluten information to drug labels. (VOA)