A placebo-controlled trial of buspirone for the treatment of marijuana dependence

Aimee L. McRae-Clark, Rickey E. Carter, Therese K. Killeen, Matthew J. Carpenter, Amy E. Wahlquist, Stacey A. Simpson, Kathleen T. Brady

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


The present study investigated the potential efficacy of buspirone for treating marijuana dependence. Participants received either buspirone (maximum 60 mg/day) (n = 23) or matching placebo (n = 27) for 12 weeks, each in conjunction with motivational interviewing. In the modified intention-to-treat analysis, the percentage of negative UDS results in the buspirone-treatment group was 18 percentage points higher than the placebo-treatment group (95% CI: -2% to 37%, p = 0.071). On self-report, participants receiving buspirone reported not using marijuana 45.2% of days and participants receiving placebo reported not using 51.4% of days (p = 0.55). An analysis of participants that completed the 12-week trial showed a significant difference in the percentage negative UDS (95% CI: 7-63%, p = 0.014) and a trend for participants randomized to the buspirone-treatment group who completed treatment to achieve the first negative UDS result sooner than those participants treated with placebo (p = 0.054). Further study with buspirone in this population may be warranted; however, strategies to enhance study retention and improve outcome measurement should be considered in future trials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)132-138
Number of pages7
JournalDrug and Alcohol Dependence
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Nov 1 2009


  • Buspirone
  • Marijuana
  • Motivational interviewing
  • Placebo

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)


Dive into the research topics of 'A placebo-controlled trial of buspirone for the treatment of marijuana dependence'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this