Effects of buprenorphine, methadone and naloxone on acquisition of behavioral chains

James P Cleary, B. Ho, M. Nader, T. Thompson

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4 Scopus citations


Buprenoprhine, methadone and naloxone were administered to pigeons key pecking under a repeated acquisition procedure. Under this procedure subjects are required to emit a new sequence of responses each session to receive access to food. All three drugs reduced overall key pecking rates although naloxone's rate-reducing effect was limited to the highest dose (30 mg/kg). The dose-effect curves for overall key pecking rate under buprenorphine and methadone were similar though the effective dose range for buprenorphine appeared wider. Methadone increased percentage of total errors at the highest doses, but neither buprenorphine nor naloxone affected total error levels very much. Within-session errors were increased early in the session under high methadone doses. Low buprenorphine doses also showed some tendency to increase errors early in the session. Buprenorphine and methadone reduced the number of chains completed in a dose-dependent manner. Buprenorphine was also administered daily at the most behaviorally disruptive dose (10 mg/kg/day). Under this dosing schedule, the behavior-suppressing effects of buprenorphine returned to base-line levels with 4 days. Error rates were unaffected by daily buprenorphine administration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)569-575
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1988


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