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Evidence supporting lack of discriminative stimulus properties of a combination of naltrexone and morphine


Pharmacology Biochemistry & Behavior 10(4): 493-498
Evidence supporting lack of discriminative stimulus properties of a combination of naltrexone and morphine
Dependence on narcotics presumably occur because of the pleasurable effect these drugs evoke as experienced by the drug taker. Naltrexone may be of value in human drug detoxification programs because of its long duration and antagonism of the effects of opiates. The potentially discriminable effects of combinations of morphine and naltrexone during long-term treatment were studied. Three groups of gerbils had to discriminate the effects of morphine (12 mg/kg) and those of either saline (4 ml/kg), naltrexone (2 mg/kg) or a combination of this dose of morphine plus naltrexone injected i.p. 60 min prior to the start of the discriminative training in a T-shaped maize. Rapid development of drug discriminative control of choice behavior (left or right turn in the maze) was evident in these 3 groups which is in marked contrast to the performance of gerbils trained with morphine-naltrexone combination vs. saline or gerbils trained with naltrexone only vs. saline. Neither of these later groups reached the criterion of performing 8 correct 1st-trial choices in 10 consecutive training sessions during the 60 training sessions allowed, while the 3 other groups began their criterion performance after only 7-8 training sessions. Discriminative properties of certain combinations of morphine and naltrexone are weak and therefore are not easily discriminable from the effects induced by saline.

Accession: 005411930

PMID: 461479

DOI: 10.1016/0091-3057(79)90223-5

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