The Effectiveness of Oxytocin for Treating Substance Use Disorders:A Systematic Review of Randomized Placebo-controlled Trials

Angelina Isabella Mellentin*, Sara Wallhed Finn, Lotte Skøt, Daniel Thaysen-Petersen, Nicolaj Mistarz, Anders Fink-Jensen, Dorthe Grüner Nielsen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

23 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Oxytocin is gaining traction in the treatment of various substance use disorders (SUD). We performed a systematic review assessing the efficacy of oxytocin for treating different SUD. The electronic databases MEDLINE, EMBASE, CENTRAL, and the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews were searched for randomized controlled trials examining the effects of oxytocin vs. placebo in SUD samples. Quality assessment was conducted using a Cochrane validated checklist. A total of 17 trials with unique samples were identified. These were conducted on participants with SUD involving alcohol (n = 5), opioids (n = 3), opioids and/or cocaine/other stimulants (n = 3), cannabis (n = 2), or nicotine (n = 4). Across the SUD-groups, oxytocin reduced withdrawal symptoms (3/5 trials), negative emotional states (4/11 trials), cravings (4/11 trials), cue-induced cravings (4/7 trials), and consumption (4/8 trials). Sixteen trials had an overall considerable risk of bias. In conclusion, although oxytocin showed some promising therapeutic effects, the findings are too inconsistent and the trials too heterogeneous to derive any firm conclusions. Sounder methodological and well-powered trials are warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105185
JournalNeuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews
Volume151
ISSN0149-7634
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2023

Keywords

  • substance use disorders; pharmacological treatment; oxytocin; hormones; placebo-controlled trials; systematic review
  • Substance use disorders
  • Oxytocin
  • Pharmacological treatment
  • Systematic review
  • Hormones
  • Placebo-controlled trials
  • Analgesics, Opioid
  • Humans
  • Substance Withdrawal Syndrome
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Oxytocin/therapeutic use
  • Systematic Reviews as Topic
  • Substance-Related Disorders/drug therapy

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'The Effectiveness of Oxytocin for Treating Substance Use Disorders:A Systematic Review of Randomized Placebo-controlled Trials'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this