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Bupropion for treatment of amphetamine-type stimulant use disorder: A systematic review and meta-analysis of placebo-controlled randomized clinical trials.

BACKGROUND: This meta-analysis (PROSPERO-ID: CRD42022362962), pooled effect estimates of outcomes, from placebo-controlled randomized clinical trials (RCTs) examining bupropion efficacy and safety for amphetamine-type stimulant use disorder (ATSUD) treatment.

METHOD: Electronic databases were searched for records published to October 31st, 2022, including MEDLINE, CINAHL, PsycINFO, EBM Reviews, EMBASE, PubMed, Web of Science, trial registries. Inclusion criteria were RCTs comparing bupropion to placebo in ATSUD. Cochrane RoB2 tool and GRADE evidence certainty assessment were employed. Outcomes included amphetamine-type stimulant (ATS) use by urinalysis, retention in treatment, treatment adherence, ATS craving, addiction severity, depressive symptom severity, drop-out following adverse events (AEs), and serious AEs. Random-effect meta-analysis was conducted presenting standardized mean difference (SMD), risk ratio (RR), and risk difference (RD).

RESULTS: Eight RCTs (total N=1239 participants) were included. Bupropion compared to placebo was associated with reduced ATS use (RR: 0.90; 95% CI: 0.84, 0.96), end-of-treatment ATS craving (SMD: -0.38; 95%CI: -0.63, -0.13), and adherence (RR: 0.91; 95%CI: 0.84, 0.99). Subgroup analysis showed greater reduction in ATS use with longer trial duration (12 weeks) (RR: 0.85; 95%CI: 0.78, 0.93) and greater reduction in end-of-treatment ATS craving in studies with mixed ATS use frequency (SMD: -0.46; 95%CI: -0.70, -0.22) and male-only samples (SMD: -1.26; 95%CI: -1.87, -0.65).

CONCLUSION: Bupropion showed a significant modest reduction in ATS use and ATS craving (both rated as very low-quality evidence), larger in males (craving), and with longer treatment (ATS use). These results may inform future studies. More research is warranted on who might benefit from bupropion as ATSUD treatment.

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