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Acute behavioral and physiological effects of modafinil in drug abusers.

Rush CR, Kelly TH, Hays LR, Baker RW, Wooten AF.

Department of Behavioral Science,
 University of Kentucky, 
Lexington, Kentucky 40536-0086, USA.
 crush2@uky.edu
Behav Pharmacol 2002 Mar;13(2):105-15

Abstract

Modafinil, a novel stimulant, is effective in the treatment of excessive daytime sleepiness associated with narcolepsy. It is biochemically and pharmacologically distinct from prototypical stimulants such as D-amphetamine, cocaine, and methylphenidate. The present experiment was designed to assess the acute behavioral effects of oral modafinil, cocaine, and placebo in participants (n=9) with recent histories of cocaine use (i.e. positive urine for cocaine or benzoylecgonine during the initial screening interview). Drug effects were assessed with a battery of self-reported drug-effect questionnaires, performance measures, and physiological indices. Cocaine, but not modafinil, produced stimulant-like self-reported drug effects (e.g. increased ratings of High and Stimulated). Modafinil and cocaine dose-dependently increased heart rate and blood pressure. The results of the present study suggest that modafinil has minimal abuse potential, but should be viewed cautiously because of the relatively small sample size. Future studies should further characterize the abuse potential of modafinil using other behavioral arrangements, such as drug discrimination or drug self-administration. A full characterization of the abuse potential of modafinil will become important as the use of this drug increases.

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