Effects of the dopamine D(1) antagonist SCH 39166 were compared with those of the D(2) antagonist eticlopride in squirrel monkeys responding under a second-order fixed-interval schedule of i.v. self-administration of cocaine. Dose-response curves were determined for a range of doses of self-administered cocaine (0.01-1.7 mg/kg/injection) alone and after pretreatment with SCH 39166 (0.01-0.1 mg/kg) or eticlopride (0.001-0.006 mg/kg). Cocaine maintained self-administration behavior in a dose-related manner; as the dose of cocaine was increased, rates of responding first increased and then either decreased or leveled off. Optimum doses (0.03-0.3 mg/kg) maintained high rates of responding (0.7-1.7 responses per second) among the different monkeys, and patterns of responding that were characteristic for second-order schedules. Pretreatment with either SCH 39166 or eticlopride altered self-administration behavior in all monkeys. In most cases, dose-response curves for cocaine were shifted to the right, indicative of surmountable antagonism, and a 3 to 6-fold increase in dose of cocaine was necessary to restore optimal performances. In some instances, dose-response curves were shifted either downward or downward and to the right, indicating that the antagonistic effects of SCH 39166 and eticlopride were not always fully surmountable. These results show that self-administration of cocaine can be comparably modified by drugs that selectively block dopamine D(1) or D(2) receptors.