Twelve pigeons key-pecked under a multiple variable interval 15-second, variable interval 150-second schedule of food reinforcement. Effects of two opioid drugs, buprenorphine and methadone, were determined alone and in combination with chronic daily administration of the antidepressants doxepin or bupropion. Methadone initially produced dose-dependent key-pecking rate reductions when administered acutely, prior to the session, while buprenorphine produced key-pecking rates that reached a plateau at 50-80% of baseline rate and were not reduced further by higher doses. Neither doxepin nor bupropion, given alone, had lasting effects on key-pecking rates. Chronic daily doxepin administration significantly attenuated methadone-induced response rate reductions. Bupropion reduced the effect of the highest methadone dose, but this effect was mitigated by the development of opioid tolerance. Unlike bupropion, doxepin interfered with the development of opioid tolerance. Neither antidepressant systematically altered effects of buprenorphine on key-pecking.
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