Discriminative stimulus, subject-rated and cardiovascular effects of cocaine alone and in combination with aripiprazole in humans

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21 Scopus citations


Aripiprazole is a dopamine D2 receptor partial agonist undergoing evaluation as a pharmacotherapy for stimulant-use disorders. Acutely administered aripiprazole attenuates the discriminative stimulus and other behavioral effects of d-amphetamine in humans; however, whether aripiprazole attenuates the effects of more commonly abused stimulants is unknown. The aim of this experiment was to assess the discriminative stimulus, subject-rated and cardiovascular effects of oral cocaine alone and following acute administration of aripiprazole in humans. Eight cocaine-dependent subjects learned to discriminate 150mg cocaine from placebo. After acquiring the discrimination, the effects of cocaine (0, 25, 50, 100 and 200mg) administered alone and in combination with aripiprazole (15mg) were determined. Significant effects of cocaine were observed for the drug discrimination task, stimulant-like subject-rated effects and heart rate. Limited effects of aripiprazole were revealed. However, for most measures, fewer doses of cocaine were significantly greater than placebo when combined with aripiprazole, suggesting a reduction in the discriminative stimulus, self-reported and cardiovascular effects of cocaine. These data are consistent with previous studies that have tested acutely administered aripiprazole in combination with d-amphetamine and suggest that the ability of aripiprazole to modify stimulant effects is a function of the duration of treatment (acute vs. chronic).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1469-1479
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Psychopharmacology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2011

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research and the preparation of this manuscript were supported by two grants from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (grant number R01 DA017711 awarded to CRR and grant number K01 DA018772 awarded to JAL). Support was also provided in part by a grant from the University of Kentucky Center for Clinical and Translational Science.


  • Aripiprazole
  • cocaine
  • drug discrimination
  • partial agonist
  • psychomotor performance
  • subjective effects

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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