k opioids as potential treatments for stimulants dependence

Thomas E. Prisinzano, Kevin Tidgewell, Wayne W. Harding

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


Stimulant abuse is a major problem in the United States and the development of pharmacological treatments for stimulant abuse remains an important therapeutic goal. Classically, the "dopamine hypothesis" has been used to explain the development of addiction and dependence of stimulants. This hypothesis involves the direct increase of dopamine as the major factor mediating the abuse effects. Therefore, most treatments have focused on directly influencing the dopamine system. Another approach, which has been explored for potential treatments of stimulant abuse, is the use of K opioid agonists. The K receptor is known to be involved, via indirect effects, in synaptic dopamine levels. This review covers several classes Of K opioid ligands that have been explored for this purpose.

Original languageEnglish
Article number61
JournalAAPS Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Oct 19 2005

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors wish to thank the College of Pharmacy and the Biological Sciences Funding Program of the University of Iowa for financial support of our research program.


  • Kappa
  • Opioid
  • Self-administration
  • Stimulant

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmaceutical Science


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