• Article

Cocaine-like discriminative stimulus effects of phendimetrazine and phenmetrazine in rats Addiction: Etiology and therapeutics

Phendimetrazine is a clinically available anorectic and candidate medication for the treatment of cocaine addiction. Phendimetrazine can be metabolized to the amphetamine-like monoamine releaser phenmetrazine, but it is unclear if phendimetrazine functions as an inactive prodrug or might have activity on its own. As one method to address this issue, the present study compared the potency and time course of phendimetrazine and phenmetrazine to produce cocaine-like discriminative stimulus effects in adult, male rats (N=5) trained to discriminate cocaine (5.6mg/kg, intraperitoneally) from saline in a two-key food-reinforced discrimination procedure. We hypothesized that, if metabolism to phenmetrazine was required for phendimetrazine effects, then phendimetrazine would be less potent and have a slower onset and offset of effects than phenmetrazine. Both phendimetrazine and phenmetrazine produced dose-dependent cocaine-like discriminative stimulus effects, and phendimetrazine was 7.8-fold less potent than phenmetrazine. However, the time courses of discriminative stimulus effects produced by phendimetrazine and phenmetrazine were similar, with peak effects at 10min and offset by 100min. These results show the effectiveness of phendimetrazine to rapidly produce cocaine-like behavioral effects in rats and support other nonhuman primate evidence to suggest that metabolism to phenmetrazine may not be required for phendimetrazine effects. Copyright (C) 2016 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.


Bauer, C. T., Negus, S. S., Blough, B. E., & Banks, M. L. (2016). Cocaine-like discriminative stimulus effects of phendimetrazine and phenmetrazine in rats: Addiction: Etiology and therapeutics. Behavioural Pharmacology, 27(2-3), 192-195. https://doi.org/10.1097/FBP.0000000000000225