Review

Acta Pharmacologica Sinica (2006) 27, 1303–1308; doi:10.1111/j.1745-7254.2006.00431.x

Traditional Chinese medicine in treatment of opiate addiction

Project supported in part by grants from the Intramural Research Program of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health, USA and the 985 talent programs of Peking University (No 985-2-046-121 and 985-2-027-39 to Lin Lu), the National Basic Research Program of China (No 20003CB 515400 to Jie Shi and Lin Lu) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No 30000050 and 30570576 to Lin Lu).

Jie Shi2, Yan-li Liu3, Yu-xia Fang4, Guo-zhu Xu2, Hai-fen Zhai2 and Lin Lu2,5

  1. 2National Institute on Drug Dependence, Peking University, Beijing 100083, China
  2. 3College of Pharmacy, Soochow University, Suzhou 215123, China
  3. 4Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics Branch, Intramural Research Program, National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health, Baltimore, Maryland 21224, USA
  4. 5Behavioral Neuroscience Branch, Intramural Research Program, National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health, Baltimore, Maryland 21224, USA

Correspondence: Dr Lin Lu, Fax: 86-10-8289-2459. E-mail: linlu@bjmu.edu.cn

Received 22 March 2006; Accepted 2 June 2006.

Top

Abstract

Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) includes Chinese medicine and acupuncture. Chinese medicine consists of natural products including plants, animals and minerals. TCM has been practiced in China for more than 2000 years, and for the past 200 years has been used in treatment of drug addiction. Ten Chinese medicines for the treatment of opiate addiction have been approved by the Chinese State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA), and at least 6 are in clinical trials. The general therapeutic principle of Chinese medicine developed was based on its unique theory of "reinforcing healthy Qi and resolving and removing effects of toxicity". Acupuncture, another essential part of TCM, which was developed based on the principle that "functions of the human body are controlled by the 'Jing-Luo' and 'Qi-Xue' system", has been used not only in China, but also in Europe, the USA and other countries, for controlling opiate addiction. There are some advantages in using TCM for opiate detoxification, including less harmful side effects, high safety and ideal effects in the inhibition of protracted withdrawal symptoms and relapse. Co-administration of TCM with modern medicine shows some synergistic effects in detoxification. Many TCM for detoxification also have efficacy in the rehabilitation of abnormal body functions induced by chronic drug use, including improving immune function, increasing working memory and preventing neurological disorder. Given that TCM is effective in the prevention of relapse and causes fewer side effects, it may be used widely in the treatment of opiate addiction.

Keywords:

Chinese medicine, acupuncture, opiate addiction, withdrawal, relapse, treatment

Top

References

  1. Fang YX, Wang YB, Shi J, Liu ZM, Lu L. Recent trends in drug abuse in China. Acta Pharmacol Sin 2006; 27: 140–4. | Article | PubMed | ChemPort |
  2. Zhao C, Liu Z, Zhao D, Liu Y, Liang J, Tang Y, Liu Z, Zheng J. Drug abuse in China. Ann NY Acad Sci 2004; 1025: 439–45. | Article | PubMed |
  3. Cheung YW, Chien JM. Previous participation in outpatient methadone program and residential treatment outcome: a research note from Hong Kong. Subst Use Misuse 1999; 34: 103–18. | Article | PubMed | ISI | ChemPort |
  4. Cohen J. HIV/AIDS in China. Changing course to break the HIV-heroin connection. Science 2004; 304: 1434–5. | Article | PubMed | ChemPort |
  5. Ghodse H. Herbal medicine in the treatment of addictions. The first meeting of the International Centre for Drug Policy. 2006 Feb 12. London.
  6. Lu L, Shepard JD, Scott Hall F, Shaham Y. Effect of environmental stressors on opiate and psychostimulant reinforcement, reinstatement and discrimination in rats: a review. Neurosci Biobehav Rev 2003; 27: 457–91. | Article | PubMed | ChemPort |
  7. Shaham Y, Shalev U, Lu L, De Wit H, Stewart J. The reinstatement model of drug relapse: history, methodology and major findings. Psychopharmacology (Berl) 2003; 168: 3–20. | Article | PubMed | ChemPort |
  8. Wang J, Fang Q, Liu Z, Lu L. Region-specific effects of brain corticotropin-releasing factor receptor type 1 blockade on footshock-stress- or drug-priming-induced reinstatement of morphine conditioned place preference in rats. Psychopharmacology 2006, 185: 19–28. | Article | PubMed | ChemPort |
  9. Li LJ, Xing XF, Shao HX. Preparation of traditional Chinese herbs on addiction detoxification: recent progress. Chin Med 2003; 34: 20–2.
  10. Li SC, Li B, Cheng DG, Li F. Studies on treatment of traditional Chinese herbs on opiate addiction. J Beijing Univ Tradit Chin Med 2005; 28: 84–8.
  11. Liang Y, Cao HB, Mu JP, Wang JH. Recent progress of traditional Chinese herbs in opiate addiction detoxification on clinical and experimental studies. Chin Mag Drug Abuse Prev Treat 2003; 9: 40–5.
  12. Duan JW, Li DH, Li YG, Zhang WJ, Li DY, Duan JY. Traditional Chinese herbs in opiate addiction detoxification: recent progress. Chin J Inform Tradit Chin Med 1999; 6: 8–12.
  13. Gao XM, Shong SL, Bai XJ. Traditional Chinese Medicine on addiction detoxification. Chin Mag Drug Abuse Prev Treat 2001; 7: 3–9.
  14. Tang Y. Traditional Chinese herbs on detoxification. J Pract Tradit Chin Med 2004; 20: 268–9.
  15. Zheng YS, Su JK. Current situation, problem and recommendation of traditional Chinese medicine on detoxicity. Chin J Inform Tradit Chin Med 1999; 6: 19–20.
  16. Guo M, Wu CF, Wang JH, Pei G. Effects of ginsenosides on the actions of morphine. Zhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi 2004; 29: 299–301. | PubMed | ChemPort |
  17. Xu T, Jin XL, Cao HM. Pharmacological action of tetrahydropalmatine: recent progress. Chin J Clin Pharm 2001; 10: 58–61.
  18. Su JK, Zheng YS. Application of traditional Chinese medicine in detoxification. Chin J Integr Tradit West Med - Angiocardiopathy 1998; 14: 58–60.
  19. Brumbaugh AG. Acupuncture: new perspectives in chemical dependency treatment. J Subst Abuse Treat 1993; 10: 35–43. | Article | PubMed | ChemPort |
  20. Clement-Jones V, McLoughlin L, Lowry PJ, Besser GM, Rees LH, Wen HL. Acupuncture in heroin addicts; changes in metenkephalin and beta-endorphin in blood and cerebrospinal fluid. Lancet 1979; 2: 380–3. | Article | PubMed | ChemPort |
  21. Montazeri K, Farahnakian M, Saghaei M. The effect of acupuncture on the acute withdrawal symptoms from rapid opiate detoxification. Acta Anaesthesiol Sin 2002; 40: 173–7. | PubMed |
  22. Shwartz M, Saitz R, Mulvey K, Brannigan P. The value of acupuncture detoxification programs in a substance abuse treatment system. J Subst Abuse Treat 1999; 17: 305–12. | Article | PubMed | ChemPort |
  23. Konefal J, Duncan R, Clemence C. The impact of the addition of an acupuncture treatment program to an existing metro-dade county outpatient substance abuse treatment facility. J Addict Dis 1994; 13: 71–99. | Article | PubMed | ChemPort |
  24. Nu WM, Liu HY, Zhang YH. The application of auriculo-acupuncture on withdrawal syndrome induced by morphine. J Shanghai Acupunct 2000; 19: 18–9.
  25. Wang ZG, Ren J. Current status and future direction of Chinese herbal medicine. Trends Pharmacol Sci 2002; 23: 347–8. | Article | PubMed | ChemPort |
  26. Wang ZT, Yuan YQ, Wang J. Survey of acupuncture with drugs treated with heroin-addicts. Chin Acupunct 1999; 19: 65–7.
  27. Washburn AM, Fullilove RE, Fullilove MT, Keenan PA, McGee B, Morris KA, et al. Acupuncture heroin detoxification: a single-blind clinical trial. J Subst Abuse Treat 1993; 10: 345–51. | Article | PubMed | ChemPort |
  28. Lu PK, Lu GP, Lu DP, Lu DP, Lu WI. Managing acute withdrawal syndrome on patients with heroin and morphine addiction by acupuncture therapy. Acupunct Electrother Res 2004; 29: 187–95. | PubMed |
  29. Zhang XF, Li X, Feng CX. Clinical study on electro-acupuncture treatment for protracted withdrawal syndromes of opiate dependence. Chin J Drug Depend 1998; 7: 152–5.
  30. Cui M. Advances in studies on acupuncture abstinence. J Tradit Chin Med 1995; 15: 301–7. | PubMed | ChemPort |
  31. Chae Y, Yang CH, Kwon YK, Kim MR, Pyun KH, Hahm DH, et al. Acupuncture attenuates repeated nicotine-induced behavioral sensitization and c-Fos expression in the nucleus accumbens and striatum of the rat. Neurosci Lett 2004; 358: 87–90. | Article | PubMed | ChemPort |
  32. Yoon SS, Kwon YK, Kim MR, Shim I, Kim KJ, Lee MH, et al. Acupuncture-mediated inhibition of ethanol-induced dopamine release in the rat nucleus accumbens through the GABAB receptor. Neurosci Lett 2004; 369: 234–8. | Article | PubMed | ChemPort |
  33. Shi XD, Ren W, Wang GB, Luo F, Han JS, Cui CL. Brain opioid-receptors are involved in mediating peripheral electric stimulation-induced inhibition of morphine conditioned place preference in rats. Brain Res 2003; 981: 23–9. | Article | PubMed | ChemPort |
  34. Wang B, Luo F, Xia YQ, Han JS. Peripheral electric stimulation inhibits morphine-induced place preference in rats. Neuroreport 2000; 11: 1017–20. | PubMed | ChemPort |
  35. Vanderschuren LJ, De Vries TJ, Wardeh G, Hogenboom FA, Schoffelmeer AN. A single exposure to morphine induces long-lasting behavioural and neurochemical sensitization in rats. Eur J Neurosci 2001; 14: 1533–8. | Article | PubMed | ISI | ChemPort |
  36. Vanderschuren LJ, Kalivas PW. Alterations in dopaminergic and glutamatergic transmission in the induction and expression of behavioral sensitization: a critical review of preclinical studies. Psychopharmacology (Berl) 2000; 151: 99–120. | Article | PubMed | ChemPort |
  37. Kim MR, Kim SJ, Lyu YS, Kim SH, Lee Y, Kim TH, et al. Effect of acupuncture on behavioral hyperactivity and dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens in rats sensitized to morphine. Neurosci Lett 2005; 387: 17–21. | Article | PubMed | ChemPort |
  38. Liu YL, Liang JH, Yan LD, Su RB, Wu CF, Gong ZH. Effects of l-tetrahydropalmatine on locomotor sensitization to oxycodone in mice. Acta Pharmacol Sin 2005; 26: 533–8. | Article | PubMed | ChemPort |
  39. Zhang Y, Du L, Wu G, Cao X. Electro-acupuncture (EA) induced attenuation of immunosuppression appearing after epidural or intrathecal injection of morphine in patients and rats. Acupunct Electrother Res 1996; 21: 177–86. | PubMed | ChemPort |
  40. Margolin A, Chang P, Avants SK, Kosten TR. Effects of sham and real auricular needling: implications for trials of acupuncture for cocaine addiction. Am J Chin Med 1993; 21: 103–11. | Article | PubMed | ChemPort |
  41. Ma L, Tang YL. Application of acupuncture on drug addiction. Chin Mag Drug Abuse Prev Treat 1998; 15: 181–3.
  42. Wu B, Wen CY, Shi JL, Li N, He J. A meta-analysis of acupuncture for treatment of drug addiction. Chin Acupunct 2003; 23: 501–5.
  43. Kin HS, Kang JG, Oh KW. Inhibition by ginseng total saponin of the development of morphine reverse tolerance and dopamine receptor supersensitivity in mice. Gen Pharmacol 1995; 26: 1071–6. | Article | PubMed | ChemPort |
  44. Li Z, Wu CF, Pei G, Guo YY, Li X. Antagonistic effect of pseudoginsenoside-F11 on the behavioral actions of morphine in mice. Pharmacol Biochem Behav 2000; 66: 595–601. | Article | PubMed | ChemPort |
  45. Ge XQ, Zhang HQ, Zhou HZ, Xu ZG, Bian CF. Experimental study of tetrahydroprotoberines inhibiting morphine withdrawal syndromes. Chin J Drug Depend 1999; 8: 178–84.
  46. Jin GZ. Discoveries in the voyage of corydalis research. Shanghai: Shanghai Scientific & Technical Publishers; 2001.
  47. Xu FZ, He Y. Survey of effects of shen fu decoction on withdrawal symptoms in opiate addicts: 321 sample. J Chengdu Univ Tradit Chin Med 2001; 24: 14–7.
  48. Lu YX, Chen ZQ, Cao JH, Chen Q, Liu QQ. Effects of traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture on heroin addiction detoxification. Res Bull 2000; 6: 40–2.
  49. Wen L, Zheng YS, Yu LZ. Effects of modified shen fu decoction on withdrawal symptoms in morphine-dependent mice and rats. Chin J Integr Tradit West Med 1995; 15: 541–3.
  50. Yang MM, Kwok JS. Evaluation on the treatment of morphine addiction by acupuncture Chinese herbs and opioid peptides. Am J Chin Med 1986; 14: 46–50. | Article | PubMed | ChemPort |
  51. Zhuang TX, Chen XG, Jiang GH. Treatment of heroin addict with acupuncture and herbal medicine: an observation of 25 cases. J Guangdong Coll Tradit Chin Med 1995; 12: 33–5.
  52. Yun TK. Update from Asia. Asian studies on cancer chemoprevention. Ann N Y Acad Sci 1999; 889: 157–92. | Article | PubMed | ChemPort |
  53. Shibata S. Chemistry and cancer preventing activities of ginseng saponins and some related triterpenoid compounds. J Korean Med Sci 2001; 16 (Suppl): S28–37. | PubMed | ISI | ChemPort |
  54. Watanabe H. Candidates for cognitive enhancer extracted from medicinal plants: paeoniflorin and tetramethylpyrazine. Behav Brain Res 1997; 83: 135–41. | Article | PubMed | ChemPort |
  55. Duan JW, Li DH, Li YG, Zhang WJ, Li DY, Duan JY. Traditional Chinese herbs in opiate addiction detoxification: recent progress. Chin J Inform Tradit Chin Med 1999; 6: 8–12.
  56. Zheng YS, Wen L, YU LZ, Xie L, Mo ZX, Wang CY. Experimental studies on the opioids dependence of the modified Shen Fu decoction. J Shenyang Pharm Univ 2002; 19: 56–62.

MORE ARTICLES LIKE THIS

These links to content published by NPG are automatically generated.

REVIEWS

Integrative medicine: complementary therapies and supplements

Nature Reviews Urology Perspective (01 Apr 2009)