DOI: 10.1002/ddr.22110 ISSN:

β_lactam antibiotics against drug addiction: A novel therapeutic option

Peyman Esmaili‐Shahzade‐Ali‐Akbari, Amir Ghaderi, Seyyed Mohammad Mehdi Hosseini, Fatemeh Nejat, Maryam Saeedi‐Mofrad, Motahareh Karimi‐Houyeh, Alireza Ghattan, Amirreza Etemadi, Elham Rasoulian, Arina Khezri
  • Drug Discovery


Drug addiction as a problem for the health of the individual and the society is the result of a complex process in which there is an interaction between brain nuclei and neurotransmitters (such as glutamate). β‐lactam antibiotics, due to their enhancing properties on the glutamate transporter glutamate transporter‐1, can affect and counteract the addictive mechanisms of drugs through the regulation of extracellular glutamate. Since glutamate is a key neurotransmitter in the development of drug addiction, it seems that β‐lactams can be considered as a promising treatment for addiction. However, more research in this field is necessary to identify other mechanisms involved in their effectiveness. This article is a review of the studies conducted on the effect of β‐lactam administration in preventing the development of drug addiction, as well as their possible cellular and molecular mechanisms. This review suggests the clinical use of β‐lactam antibiotics that have weak antimicrobial properties (such as clavulanic acid) in the treatment of drug dependence.

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