Doctor's Data and Labrix teams have joined forces to produce educational content for providers. 


Wellness Wednesday

Webinar Series

Topic: Belly Fat and Elevated Androgens

By: Hilary Andrews, ND

April 3, 2019

Join Labrix clinical staff and special guests on the first Wednesday of every month at 9:30 AM and 12:00 PM PST. This free, live webinar series will cover a variety of neuroendocrine topics that will enhance your knowledge, with clinically applicable testing and treatment considerations. 1 CE credit available upon attendee request.



Seatac, WA: March 23-24, 2019

We will be in Washington for the IIVNTP Conference this weekend. Come chat with our booth representative and learn more about testing with us.



Scottsdale, AZ: April 12-14, 2019

We will be exhibiting at the EHS conference in Scottsdale, AZ early next month.


High-dose γ-tocopherol supplementation may facilitate control of eosinophilic asthma | 3/5/2019

Cannabis and Hormone Balance in Men | 2/20/2019

Progesterone Influences Vitamin D and the Immune Response | 2/06/2019

Dietary Choices Can Delay or Hasten the Onset of Menopause | 1/23/2019

The Weight Loss New Year's Resolution: Using intermittent fasting and hormone testing to help motivate your patients | 1/9/2019

What’s cooking? How to improve saliva production for sample collection | 12/28/2018

A Fragrant Way to Support Mental Health | 12/12/2018

Sugar Can Decrease Testosterone Levels in Men | 11/28/2018

Histamine in Urine: Common Misconceptions | 11/14/2018

Dysbiosis: An Independent Risk Factor for Anxiety | 11/1/2018

Progesterone and Bone Health | 10/17/2018

Food-as-Medicine for Management of Anxiety | 10/4/2018

Unlocking the Wisdom of Waking: the Cortisol Awakening Response may be the missing link | 9/26/2018

Back to School Means Back to Sleep! | 9/5/2018

Progesterone as a Potential Tool in Assisting Recovery from Drug Addiction


By Heather Hydzik, ND | March 20, 2019

Research reveals a connection between hormone imbalance and drug addiction. Specifically, estrogen dominant states seem to increase factors that could make drug addiction more likely and contribute to difficulty in recovery from addiction. Progesterone therapy, which can be used to correct estrogen dominance, may have utility in assisting recovery from drugs of abuse.[1]

Two research questions have been repeatedly studied in recent years. The first is ‘How do estrogen and progesterone levels affect responses to drugs of abuse?’ The second question is ‘Can progesterone supplementation assist in maintaining abstinence among recovering addicted individuals?’

Progesterone and Estrogen and Drug Response

To study the effect of hormone balance on drug response, trials have been completed involving cocaine, amphetamines, tobacco and marijuana. Participants were grouped by progesterone and estradiol levels, by phase of the menstrual cycle, and/or by gender. In other studies, subjects supplementing with progesterone were compared to those given placebo. Then, researchers administered the recreational drug being studied and monitored or surveyed participants’ responses.

In states of higher progesterone levels, such as luteal phase or after progesterone administration, researchers observed a trend towards attenuated responses to recreational drugs. For example, women in luteal phase reported feeling less ‘high’ after cocaine administration as compared to women in the follicular phase or to men.[2] Conversely, women in the follicular phase, when progesterone levels are lower and estradiol levels are higher, reported higher ratings of feeling ‘high’, ‘stimulated’, and experiencing a ‘good drug effect’ after using cocaine.[3] Supplementing progesterone has been shown to lower the rating of cocaine-induced highs in both men and women.[4]

Research involving marijuana, nicotine and amphetamines follows the same trend. Estrogen generally increases and progesterone generally decreases the rewarding effects of these substances. 

Progesterone as Therapy for Recovery and Withdrawal

A number of recent studies have examined progesterone as a potential intervention in recovery from nicotine and cocaine dependence. Progesterone supplementation in postpartum mothers who quit smoking during pregnancy was associated with reduced nicotine craving and an average of 6 more weeks of abstinence from smoking.[5] In a double-blind, placebo-controlled study, a 400 mg oral daily dose of progesterone reduced tobacco smoking urges in both male and female abstinent smokers. Cognitive performance, often negatively affected during smoking cessation, improved with a 200 mg oral dose of progesterone.[6]

In a study of over 200 female smokers randomly assigned to quit during luteal or follicular phase, those in the luteal phase took longer to relapse.[7] This suggests that higher progesterone levels may assist in smoking cessation success. Similarly, when cocaine-dependent women in recovery were exposed to stress or to drug cues, those with higher progesterone levels responded with lower levels of cravings, lower blood pressure, and lower anxiety levels.[8]

The Future of Addiction Recovery Treatment

Research suggests progesterone may be an important component of a holistic approach to supporting addiction recovery. The current evidence suggests that progesterone supplementation may assist in smoking cessation in women of reproductive age. Research has yet to determine if progesterone can confer equal benefits to women during all phases of life, especially during times of hormonal transition. There are fewer studies looking at the utility of progesterone supplementation for men in recovery, but the research done so far shows promise. The case for progesterone as a recovery tool for cocaine, amphetamine and marijuana cessation continues to grow.

For providers who advise patients with nicotine or cocaine addiction, testing estradiol and progesterone levels may provide beneficial insight. Checking the progesterone to estradiol ratio will allow providers to administer progesterone as needed. If progesterone is supplemented the patient may benefit not only from the reduction of estrogen dominant symptoms and associated proliferative risks but could also be supported in the process of recovery. As a result, cycling women who set their quit date during the luteal phase might increase their chances of maintaining abstinence longer.



[1] Lynch WJ, Sofuoglu M. Role of progesterone in nicotine addiction: evidence from initiation to relapse. Exp Clin Psychopharmacol. 2010;18(6):451-61.

[2] Sofuoglu M, Dudish-Poulsen S, Nelson D, Pentel PR, Hatsukami DK. Sex and menstrual cycle differences in the subjective effects from smoked cocaine in humans. Exp Clin Psychopharmacol. 1999;7(3):274-83

[3] Evans SM, Haney M, Foltin RW. The effects of smoked cocaine during the follicular and luteal phases of the menstrual cycle in women. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2002;159(4):397-406. DOI: 10.1007/s00213-001-0944-7

[4] Lynch WJ, Sofuoglu M. Role of progesterone in nicotine addiction: evidence from initiation to relapse. Exp Clin Psychopharmacol. 2010;18(6):451-61.

[5] Forray A, Gilstad-Hayden K, Suppies C, Bogen D, Sofuoglu M, Yonkers KA. Progesterone for smoking relapse prevention following delivery: A pilot, randomized, double-blind study. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 201;86:96-103. doi: 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2017.09.012.

[6] Sofuoglu M, Mouratidis M, Mooney M. Progesterone improves cognitive performance and attenuates smoking urges in abstinent smokers. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2011;36(1):123-32. doi: 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2010.07.005.

[7] Lynch WJ, Sofuoglu M. Role of progesterone in nicotine addiction: evidence from initiation to relapse. Exp Clin Psychopharmacol. 2010;18(6):451-61.

[8] Sinha R, Fox H, Hong KI, Sofuoglu M, Morgan PT, Bergquist KT. Sex steroid hormones, stress response, and drug craving in cocaine-dependent women: implications for relapse susceptibility. Exp Clin Psychopharmacol. 2007;15(5):445-52. DOI: 10.1037/1064-1297.15.5.445

Disclaimer: All information given about health conditions, treatment, products, and dosages are for educational purposes only and do not constitute medical advice.