Progressive-ratio performance maintained by drug infusions: Comparison of cocaine, diethylpropion, chlorphentermine, and fenfluramine

Roland R. Griffiths, Joseph V. Brady, Jack D. Snell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cocaine, diethylpropion, chlorphentermine, and fenfluramine were compared on a drug-maintained progressive-ratio procedure in baboons. Intravenous infusions of drug were contingent on completion of a fixed-ratio response requirement (fixed number of lever-press responses) with a 3-h time-out period following each infusion. Prior to testing each dose of drug, stable self-infusion performance was first established with 0.4 mg/kg cocaine when the fixed-ratio requirement was 160. Subsequently, a test dose of drug was substituted for the standard dose of cocaine. If the dose of drug maintained a criterion level of self-infusion performance (six or more infusions per day for 2 days), the ratio requirement was systematically increased every day until the 'breaking point' at which the self-infusion performance fell below a criterion level (one or zero infusionsper day). Fenfluramine did not maintain criterion self-infusion performance at any dose tested (0.02-5.0 mg/kg). The dose ranges of the other drugs that maintained maximum breaking points were 1.0-5.6 mg/kg for chlorphentermine, 1.0-3.0 mg/kg for diethylpropion, and 0.1-0.4 mg/kg for cocaine. Within-animal comparison of the maximum breaking points indicated that cocaine maintained the highest breaking points, followed in order by diethylpropion, chlorphentermine, and fenfluramine. The rank ordering of these drugs with the breaking point measure corresponds well with both the results of other animal experiments on measurement of reinforcing efficacy of these drugs and with the clinical information about the human subjective effects and abuse of these drugs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5-13
Number of pages9
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1978


  • Baboons
  • Breaking point
  • Chlorphentermine
  • Cocaine
  • Diethylpropion
  • Drug self-administration
  • Fenfluramine
  • Progressive ratio

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology


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