Cocaine-addicted women typically decrease drug use during pregnancy. This is also the time when concentrations of progesterone are high. After delivery, when progesterone levels drop, women with addiction are likely to relapse.
New research suggests that administering progesterone to these post-partum women helps prevent this relapse. The findings appear online ahead of print in Lancet Psychiatry.
The use of progesterone as a treatment strategy for women who have recently given birth is appealing because it builds upon a period of abstinence or reduced cocaine use that occurs naturally.
Kimberly Yonkers, professor of psychiatry, of public health, and of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive sciences, is the study's lead author. Mehmet Sofuoglu, professor of psychiatry, is senior author.
Other Yale authors include Ariadna Forray, Charla Nich, Kathleen Carroll, Cristine Hine, Brian Merry, Howard Shaw, and Julia Shaw.