Effects of concurrent saccharin availability and buprenorphine pretreatment on demand for smoked cocaine base in rhesus monkeys

Sandra D. Comer, Vincent R. Hunt, Marilyn E. Carroll

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40 Scopus citations


The effects of saccharin and the opioid partial agonist buprenorphine on cocaine base smoking were evaluated in five male rhesus monkeys. Monkeys completed a sequence of responding consisting of lever-press responses maintained under a fixed-ratio (FR) schedule followed by inhalation responses (FR5) on a smoking spout to gain access to a single delivery of volatilized cocaine base (1.0 mg/kg per delivery). Monkeys could receive a maximum of ten smoke deliveries per session. In the first experiment, either saccharin (0.03% wt/vol) or water was concurrently available under an FR1 schedule through a lip-operated drinking device. As lever FR values increased from 128 to 256, 512, 1024 and 2048, the number of cocaine smoke deliveries decreased. Cocaine intake was not statistically different when water versus saccharin was concurrently available. However, as cocaine consumption decreased, saccharin intake increased demonstrating that under these conditions, saccharin was substituting for cocaine as a reinforcer. On the first day that lidocaine replaced cocaine, all of the monkeys received the maximum number of smoke deliveries (ten) and saccharin intake increased. Lever-press responding gradually extinguished over days when lidocaine (1.0 mg/kg per delivery) was available with concurrent saccharin. In the second experiment, water was concurrently available with cocaine and buprenorphine (0.01 or 0.1 mg/kg) was administered intramuscularly (IM) 30 min before the start of the session. Although pretreatment with the lower dose of buprenorphine (0.01 mg/kg) had little effect on cocaine intake overall, individual differences in cocaine intake occurred. The higher dose of buprenorphine (0.1 mg/kg) decreased the amount of cocaine consumed at all lever FR values tested.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15-23
Number of pages9
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jun 1994


  • Behavioral economics
  • Buprenorphine
  • Cocaine base
  • Crack
  • Demand
  • Drug self-administration
  • Elasticity
  • Lidocaine
  • Rhesus monkeys
  • Saccharin
  • Smoking
  • Unit price


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