Discriminative-stimulus effects of modafinil in cocaine-trained humans

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79 Scopus citations


Modafinil is a novel stimulant that is effective in the treatment of narcolepsy and excessive daytime sleepiness. In vitro and in vivo neuropharmacological data suggest that the mechanism of action of modafinil is distinct from that of prototypical abused stimulants like cocaine and d-amphetamine. In the present experiment, six human volunteers with recent histories of cocaine use learned to discriminate 150 mg oral cocaine HCL. After acquiring the discrimination (i.e. ≥80% correct responding on 4 consecutive days), a range of doses of oral cocaine (50, 100, and 150 mg), modafinil (200, 400, and 600 mg), and placebo were tested to determine if they shared discriminative-stimulus and self-reported effects with 150 mg cocaine. Methylphenidate (60 mg) and triazolam (0.5 mg) were included as positive and negative controls, respectively. Cocaine and methylphenidate, but neither modafinil nor triazolam, produced cocaine-like discriminative-stimulus, subject-rated, and cardiovascular effects. The results of the present experiment suggest that cocaine discrimination in humans is pharmacologically specific within and across drug classes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)311-322
Number of pages12
JournalDrug and Alcohol Dependence
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1 2002

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
National Institute on Drug Abuse Grant DA 10325 (C.R. Rush) and Grant M01 RR02602 supported this research. The authors are grateful to the entire staff of the General Clinical Research Center at the University of Kentucky Medical Center.


  • Cocaine
  • Discriminative effects
  • Modafinil
  • Stimulants
  • Subjective effects

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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