Subjective and physiological effects of acute intranasal methamphetamine during D-amphetamine maintenance

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16 Scopus citations


Rationale: Methamphetamine abuse and dependence are significant public-health concerns. Behavioral therapies are effective for reducing methamphetamine use. However, many patients enrolled in behavioral therapies are unable to achieve significant periods of abstinence, suggesting other strategies like pharmacotherapy are needed. Objectives: This experiment determined the subjective and physiological effects of intranasal methamphetamine during d-amphetamine maintenance in eight non-treatment-seeking stimulant-dependent participants. We predicted d-amphetamine maintenance would attenuate the acute subjective effects of intranasal methamphetamine. We also predicted intranasal methamphetamine would be well tolerated during d-amphetamine maintenance. Methods: After at least 7 days of maintenance on sustained-release d-amphetamine (0 and 45 mg/day), participants were administered ascending doses of intranasal methamphetamine (0, 2.5, 5, 10, and 20 mg) across two experimental sessions. Intranasal methamphetamine doses were separated by 90 min. Results: Intranasal methamphetamine produced prototypical subjective and physiological effects (e.g., increased ratings of Like Drug; increased heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature). The acute effects of intranasal methamphetamine were significantly diminished during d-amphetamine maintenance relative to placebo maintenance. Conclusions: These results are concordant with those of clinical trials and provide further support for the use of agonist replacement therapy to manage methamphetamine dependence. Additional research in humans is needed to determine the effectiveness of d-amphetamine under different experimental conditions that more closely reflect use in the natural environment (e.g., higher methamphetamine doses) and behavioral arrangements that are predictive of pharmacotherapy effectiveness (e.g., drug self-administration).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)665-674
Number of pages10
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 2011

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgements This research was supported by grants from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (R01 DA025032 to Craig R. Rush and K01 DA018772 to Joshua A. Lile) and by the University of Kentucky CR-DOC. The authors have no financial relationships with these funding sources and declare no conflicts of interest relevant to this project. The authors wish to thank Bryan Hall, Michelle Gray, Erika Pike and Sarah Veenema for technical assistance and Frances Wagner for medical assistance.


  • Agonist replacement therapy
  • D-Amphetamine
  • Humans
  • Methamphetamine
  • Pharmacotherapy
  • Physiological effects
  • Subjective effects

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology


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