Carvedilol affects the physiological and behavioral response to smoked cocaine in humans

Mehmet Sofuoglu, Scott Brown, David A. Babb, Paul R. Pentel, Dorothy K. Hatsukami

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


The noradrenergic system is implicated in mediating some of the physiological effects of cocaine. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether treatment with an adrenergic blocker, carvedilol, which would be expected to attenuate the physiological effects of cocaine, would also attenuate the subjective and behavioral response to cocaine in humans. Twelve crack cocaine users participated in this double-blind, placebo-controlled outpatient study. Acute treatment with 50 mg of oral carvedilol attenuated the smoked cocaine-induced increases in heart rate, systolic and diastolic blood pressure. The number of cocaine self-administrations was lower under 25 mg carvedilol treatment condition compared with 50 mg carvedilol or placebo treatment conditions. The subjective responses to smoked cocaine deliveries were not affected by carvedilol treatment. These results suggest that acute treatment with carvedilol attenuates the physiological effects of smoked cocaine. The effects of carvedilol on cocaine self-administration need to be studied further. Copyright (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Ireland Ltd.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)69-76
Number of pages8
JournalDrug and alcohol dependence
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 2000

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by grants from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (P-50 DA09259) and from the National Center for Research Resources (MOl-RR00400). We would like to thank the General Clinical Research Center nursing staff for technical assistance.


  • Adrenergic receptors
  • Cardiovascular effects
  • Carvedilol
  • Cocaine
  • Self-administration


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