The discriminative stimulus and subjective effects of d-amphetamine, phenmetrazine and fenfluramine in humans

by Chait LD, Uhlenhuth EH, Johanson CE
Psychopharmacology (Berl)1986;89(3):301-6


The discriminative stimulus (DS) and subjective effects of d-amphetamine (AMP), phenmetrazine (PMT) and fenfluramine (FFL) were studied in a group of normal healthy adults. Subjects (N = 27) were trained to discriminate between placebo and 10 mg AMP (PO). Fourteen of the subjects (discriminators) reliably learned the discrimination, whereas the other 13 did not. Nearly all discriminators labelled AMP as a stimulant, and AMP, relative to placebo, increased ratings of drug liking and general activity level, and produced typical stimulant-like subjective effects, as measured by the Profile of Mood States, the Addiction Research Center Inventory, and a series of visual analog scales. The discrimination accuracy of discriminators increased as a function of hour after drug ingestion, as did analog ratings of how certain subjects were that their discrimination responses were correct. Discriminators were tested with doses of PMT (25 and 50 mg) and FFL (20 and 40 mg) to determine whether the DS properties of these drugs would substitute for those of AMP. Both doses of PMT consistently substituted for AMP, and PMT produced subjective effects very similar to those of AMP. Conversely, neither dose of FFL consistently substituted for AMP, and FFL produced essentially no subjective effects. These findings are consistent with results from discrimination studies with other species, and provide further evidence of the validity of this procedure for studying the DS properties of drugs in humans.