5-HT3 receptor antagonism and psychoactivity

John T. Sullivan, Kenzie L. Preston, Margaret P. Testa, Joanne Bell, Donald R. Jasinski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The purpose of this study was to assess the acute psychoactive and physiological properties of 5-HT3 antagonism using ondansetron as a probe. Ondansetron is used clinically as an anti-emetic but is also under treatment consideration for a range of psychiatric disorders including drug abuse. A 15 min infusion of 40 mg ondansetron, a 1 min infusion of 25 mg of cocaine (positive control) and their respective placebos were tested intravenously in eight volunteers with histories of drug abuse in a blinded cross-over study. Ondansetron responses could not be distinguished from the placebo. Cocaine produced typical subjective and physiological effects. These findings indicate that the prototypic 5-HT3 receptor antagonist ondansetron does not produce acute psychoactive effects when infused at doses of up to 40 mg and has no rewarding effects with this regime.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)182-187
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Psychopharmacology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1996


  • 5-HT antagonism
  • Cocaine
  • Ondansetron
  • Psychoactivity
  • Subjective effects

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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