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Naltrexone decreases D-amphetamine and ethanol self-administration in rhesus monkeys

Jimenez-Gomez, Corinaa; Winger, Gaila; Dean, Reginald L.b; Deaver, Daniel R.b; Woods, James H.a

doi: 10.1097/FBP.0b013e3283423d55
Short Reports

Amphetamines are the second most highly abused illicit drugs worldwide, yet there is no pharmacological treatment for amphetamine abuse and dependence. Preclinical studies and, more recently, human studies, suggest that the opioid receptor antagonist, naltrexone, might be useful in the treatment of amphetamine abuse. Naltrexone, an opioid receptor antagonist, is currently used for the treatment of alcohol dependence. The aim of this study was to explore the ability of naltrexone to modify self-administration of amphetamine or ethanol in rhesus monkeys. Monkeys were trained to respond to intravenous injections of either D-amphetamine (0.003 mg/kg/injection) or ethanol (0.05 g/kg/injection) on a fixed ratio 30 schedule. Naltrexone (0.01–1 mg/kg) was administered intramuscularly 30 min before the start of treatment test sessions. Naltrexone dose-dependently decreased both amphetamine and ethanol self-administration. These findings support the potential use of naltrexone as therapy for amphetamine and polydrug abuse.

aDepartment of Pharmacology, University of Michigan Medical School, Medical Center Dr Ann Arbor, Michigan

bAlkermes Inc, Life Sciences/Toxicology, Waltham, Massachusetts, USA

Correspondence to Corina Jimenez-Gomez, PhD, Department of Pharmacology, University of Michigan Medical School, 1301 MSRB III, 1150 W Medical Center Dr Ann Arbor, MI 48109-5632, USA e-mail:

Received July 7, 2010

Accepted October 11, 2010

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.