Evaluation of tradipitant, a selective NK1 antagonist, on response to oxycodone in humans

Marion A. Coe, Michelle R. Lofwall, Victoria Vessels, Paul A. Nuzzo, Sharon L. Walsh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Rationale: Preclinical studies demonstrate that the NK1 receptor is involved in opioid reinforcement and withdrawal expression. Few studies have examined the impact of treatment with NK1 antagonists on opioid response in humans. Objective: To explore the potential for a selective NK1 antagonist, tradipitant, to attenuate the abuse liability and reinforcing and analgesic effects of oxycodone in opioid-experienced individuals. Methods: Participants with recreational opioid use, but without opioid physical dependence, were enrolled as inpatients for ~6 weeks (n = 8). A within-subject, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, crossover design was employed. The pharmacodynamic response to intranasal oxycodone across a range of doses (0 to 30 mg) was examined during two counterbalanced maintenance periods (tradipitant 0 or 85 mg/bid). Oxycodone self-administration was assessed with a modified progressive ratio procedure, and analgesia was assessed with the cold pressor test. Results: Oxycodone produced significant and dose-related increases on a broad array of prototypic opioid measures, including subjective ratings related to abuse liability (e.g., liking) and physiological outcomes (i.e., expired CO2). Oxycodone self-administration increased with increasing dose, as did analgesia. Tradipitant largely did not alter any of these effects of oxycodone, with the exception of producing a reduction in ratings of desire for opioids. Conclusions: Given that the vast majority of oxycodone effects were unchanged by tradipitant, these data do not provide support for the utility of NK1 antagonists as a potential treatment for opioid use disorder.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1857-1866
Number of pages10
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.


  • Abuse liability
  • Human
  • NK1 antagonist
  • Opioid
  • Oxycodone
  • Self-administration
  • Tradipitant

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology


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