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The Effects of Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation in Reducing Cocaine Craving and Use

Protasio, Maria I.B. MD*; Da Silva, João P.L. PhD; Machado, Sergio PhD; Chagas, Silvana V. MD*; Murillo-Rodriguez, Eric PhD§; Cruz, Marcelo S. PhD*

Addictive Disorders & Their Treatment: December 2019 - Volume 18 - Issue 4 - p 212–222
doi: 10.1097/ADT.0000000000000169
Original Articles

Given the scale and complexity of cocaine abuse in individual, social and public health terms, new forms of treatment are urgently needed. The therapeutic uses of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) for reducing consumption by those who abuse cocaine have been explored since 2003. This article reports an integrative review of seven trials carried out from 2007 to 2016, investigating the use of TMS on subjects abusing cocaine. The analysis was categorized into 5 different topics (1) area of intervention; (2) hemisphere; (3) number of pulses and intensity; (4) safety and adverse effects; and (5) other outcomes. Most of the trials found promising results of craving and/or use reduction with repetitive TMS (rTMS). Future interventions should consider the use of TMS as part of rehabilitation therapies.

*Alcohol and Drugs Program, Institute of Psychiatry of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro

Philippe Pinel Institute, Rio de Janeiro

Physical Activity Neuroscience Laboratory, Physical Activity Sciences Postgraduate Program, Salgado de Oliveira University, Niterói, Brazil

§Laboratory of Molecular and Integrative Neurosciences School of Medicine, Division of Health Sciences, Anahuac Mayab University, Merida, Mexico

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Reprints: Maria I.B. Protasio, MD, Oriente St., 314/401, Rio de Janeiro 20240130, Brazil (e-mail:

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