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BACKGROUND: Pharmacological approaches to opiate addiction have for the most part been limited to a role in detoxification. A high percentage of patients who complete detoxification programmes relapse. METHOD: In the present study, we used a simple laboratory method to investigate suggestions from preclinical studies that 5-(hydroxytryptamine) HT3 receptor antagonists have a role in the treatment of addiction. RESULTS: We showed that addicts stably maintained on methadone experienced significant craving, dysphoria, and withdrawal-like symptoms when exposed to a video containing drug-related cues. The craving was not lessened by treatment with the 5-HT3 receptor antagonist, ondansetron (4 mg orally). CONCLUSION: Our current findings do not support a role for 5-HT3 receptor agonists in the reduction of craving in opiate addicts.


Journal article


Br J Psychiatry

Publication Date





511 - 514


Female, Humans, Male, Methadone, Narcotics, Ondansetron, Substance Withdrawal Syndrome, Substance-Related Disorders