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Orally Delivered Alprazolam, Diazepam and Triazolam as Reinforcers in Rhesus Monkeys (2002)

Orally Delivered Alprazolam, Diazepam and Triazolam as Reinforcers in Rhesus Monkeys (2002)

  1. Jatelka
    Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2002 Apr;161(1):86-94.

    Gomez TH , Roache JD Meisch RA.

    RATIONALE: Benzodiazepines are among the most frequently prescribed drugs and are usually taken by mouth. However, there have been few studies of oral self-administration of these drugs, and the results of IV self-administration studies indicate that benzodiazepines are modest reinforcers. OBJECTIVES: To determine if orally delivered alprazolam, diazepam, and triazolam could serve as reinforcers for rhesus monkeys, and to determine some of the conditions under which benzodiazepine reinforced behavior occurs. METHODS: Diazepam or midazolam was initially established as a reinforcer by a fading procedure whereby increasing concentrations were added to a 1 or 2% ethanol solution, and subsequently the ethanol concentration was decreased in steps to zero. Diazepam- and midazolam-reinforced responding persisted in the absence of ethanol. Triazolam and alprazolam served as reinforcers when substituted for diazepam or midazolam. RESULTS: Alprazolam, diazepam, and triazolam served as effective reinforcers across a wide range of concentrations and under fixed-ratio sizes of 16 and 32. Rates of responding were usually far higher than that for the concurrently available vehicle, water. Drug intake (mg drug/kg body weight) generally increased with increases in drug concentration. When large drug amounts were consumed, signs of intoxication were observed. CONCLUSIONS: In contrast to reports of low response rates and weakly maintained behavior, the present results show that the three benzodiazepines can serve as effective reinforcers.