Effects of acute buspirone administration on inhibitory control and sexual discounting in cocaine users

Justin C. Strickland, B. Levi Bolin, Michael R. Romanelli, Craig R. Rush, William W. Stoops

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Objective: Cocaine users display deficits in inhibitory control and make impulsive choices that may increase risky behavior. Buspirone is an anxiolytic that activates dopaminergic and serotonergic systems and improves impulsive choice (i.e., reduces sexual risk-taking intent) in cocaine users when administered chronically. We evaluated the effects of acutely administered buspirone on inhibitory control and impulsive choice. Methods: Eleven subjects with a recent history of cocaine use completed this within-subject, placebo-controlled study. Subjects performed two cued go/no-go and a sexual risk delay-discounting task following oral administration of buspirone (10 and 30 mg), triazolam (0.375 mg; positive control), and placebo (negative control). Physiological and psychomotor performance and subject-rated data were also collected. Results: Buspirone failed to change inhibitory control or impulsive choice; however, slower reaction times were observed at the highest dose tested. Buspirone did not produce subject-rated drug effects but dose-dependently decreased diastolic blood pressure. Triazolam impaired psychomotor performance and increased ratings of positive subject-rated effects (e.g., Like Drug). Conclusions: These findings indicate that acutely administered buspirone has little impact on behavioral measures of inhibitory control and impulsive sexual decision-making. Considering previous findings with chronic dosing, these findings highlight that the behavioral effects of buspirone differ as a function of dosing conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2567
JournalHuman Psychopharmacology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


  • impulsivity
  • pharmacotherapy
  • response inhibition
  • substance use
  • triazolam

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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