Paracetamol in the Treatment of Acute Amphetamine Withdrawal

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Natchayaporn Wattanathamrak


Objectives: To examine the benefits of paracetamol in treating acute amphetamine withdrawal.

Methods: Randomized Controlled Trial, Experimental case-control study in patients diagnosed with Amphetamine Use Disorder ages 18-60 years at the outpatient and inpatient departments of Nakhon Sawan Rajanagarindra Psychiatric Hospital, from November 2021 to April 2022. 52 participants were randomized by Block of Four Randomization. The experimental group received 750 mg of paracetamol and the control group received a placebo. The outcome was measured by Amphetamine Withdrawal Symptom Questionnaire (AWQV2) and Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) (drug craving - VAS1) (relaxation - VAS2). Individual characteristics were analyzed by frequency, mean, percentage, and standard deviation. Chi-squre test and Fisher exact test were used to compare individual characteristics between groups. Variable changes were analyzed by the T-Test statistics.

Results: Hyperarousal Subscale Score from the AWQV2 test (combined scores of drug-craving, agitation, and vivid or unpleasant dreams items), and drug craving scores (VAS1) were significantly lower in the experimental group (P=0.012 and P=0.002, respectively). Drowsiness was observed in both the experimental group and control group, 2 per group, with mild severity.

Conclusions: Paracetamol was more effective than placebo in treating acute amphetamine withdrawal in the Hyperarousal Subscale Score and in reducing cravings. And no serious adverse reactions were found.


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