Dependence and abuse of methaqualone, a type of sedative-hypnotic, is a major public health problem in parts of Africa and India. Treatment is highly variable and takes place in both in-patient and out-patient settings. Despite an extensive search of electronic databases, the internet, relevant conferences and contact with experts in the field, this review identified no randomised controlled trials of the effectiveness of treatment for Mandrax dependence and/or abuse. Currently no evidence exists for using one type of treatment over another.
To date, no randomized controlled trials appear to have been conducted. Consequently, the effectiveness of inpatient versus outpatient treatment, psychosocial treatment versus no treatment, and pharmacological treatments versus placebo for methaqualone abuse or dependence has yet to be established.
Methaqualone is a potent quinazoline, a class of sedative-hypnotics, that has a high potential for abuse. While the oral use of methaqualone (Quaalude, Mandrax) has waned in western countries since the mid-late 1980's, the practice of smoking methaqualone is a serious public health problem in South Africa, other parts of Africa and India. In the context of diminishing resources devoted to substance abuse treatment in regions affected by methaqualone abuse, it would be desirable to base treatment on the best evidence available. This review aimed to provide health care workers, policy-makers and consumers with the necessary information to make decisions regarding effective treatment of this highly dependence-producing drug.
To compare the effectiveness of any type of pharmacological or behavioural treatment administered in either an in-patient or out-patient setting compared with either a placebo or no treatment or a waiting list, or with another form of treatment administered in either an in- or out-patient setting.
The authors searched the following databases: Cochrane Drugs and Alcohol Group'Register of Trials (February 2004); Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL-The Cochrane Library, Issue 2, 2004); MEDLINE (OVID - January 1966 to February 2004), PsycInfo (OVID - January 1967 to February 2004). Relevant conference proceedings and reference lists of relevant articles were hand-searched. Broad Internet searches were conducted and contact made with experts in the field.
All randomised controlled trials and quasi-randomised trials of the effectiveness of treatment programmes (in- or out-patient) for methaqualone dependence and abuse were considered for inclusion in this review.
The authors independently assessed study eligibility and quality.
No studies were found that met the inclusion criteria.