Low-dose oral cocaine in humans

Acquisition of discrimination and time-course of effects

D. H. Epstein, Kenneth Silverman, J. E. Henningfield, K. L. Preston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Seven cocaine-abusing volunteers were trained to discriminate 50 mg oral cocaine vs placebo across 50 2-h sessions. Discriminative, subjective and autonomic effects were assessed with a procedure developed for precise characterization of their acute time-course. Subjective effects of oral cocaine began 10-15 min post-drug, peaked at 40-50 min and took up to 100 min post-drug to return nearly to baseline. Autonomic effects also began 10-15 min post drug, peaked at 40-50 min and typically returned to baseline by 120 min post-drug; for most participants, peak heart rate and blood pressure remained within the range seen with placebo. Six out of seven participants acquired the discrimination (although this typically required 15-30 sessions, and there were some intriguing dissociations between the ability to discriminate oral cocaine from placebo and the ability to identify it as a stimulant). In most participants, oral cocaine produced increases in ratings of 'liking', 'alertness' and 'good effects', and in motor performance. Overall, the results support the sensitivity of the behavioral-testing procedure used, and show that 50 mg oral cocaine can serve as a discriminative stimulus in adult humans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)531-542
Number of pages12
JournalBehavioural Pharmacology
Volume10
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1999

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Cocaine
Autonomic Agents
Placebos
Pharmaceutical Preparations
Volunteers
Heart Rate
Blood Pressure

Keywords

  • Cocaine
  • Drug abuse
  • Drug discrimination
  • Humans
  • Oral administration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this

Low-dose oral cocaine in humans : Acquisition of discrimination and time-course of effects. / Epstein, D. H.; Silverman, Kenneth; Henningfield, J. E.; Preston, K. L.

In: Behavioural Pharmacology, Vol. 10, No. 5, 1999, p. 531-542.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Epstein, D. H. ; Silverman, Kenneth ; Henningfield, J. E. ; Preston, K. L. / Low-dose oral cocaine in humans : Acquisition of discrimination and time-course of effects. In: Behavioural Pharmacology. 1999 ; Vol. 10, No. 5. pp. 531-542.
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