Effects of progesterone treatment on cocaine responses in male and female cocaine users

Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2004 Aug;78(4):699-705. doi: 10.1016/j.pbb.2004.05.004.


We recently reported that progesterone treatment attenuated some of the subjective effects of smoked cocaine in female cocaine users. In this study, we further examined the interaction between progesterone and cocaine in both male and female cocaine users using subjective, physiological and behavioral outcomes. A total of 10 subjects, 6 male and 4 female cocaine users, had two experimental sessions. Before each session, participants received either two oral doses of 200 mg of progesterone or placebo. Two hours after the second dose of medication treatment, the participants received a 0.3 mg/kg dose of cocaine intravenously and started the self-administration period, in which five optional doses of cocaine were available. Progesterone treatment attenuated the cocaine-induced diastolic blood pressure increases without affecting the systolic blood pressure and heart rate increases. Progesterone treatment also attenuated the subjective ratings of high and feel the effect of last dose in response to cocaine but did not affect cocaine self-administration behavior. These results suggest that progesterone attenuates some of the physiological and subjective effects of cocaine in both male and female participants. The effects of progesterone treatment on cocaine dependence need to be further studied in controlled trials.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects
  • Cocaine-Related Disorders / drug therapy*
  • Cocaine-Related Disorders / psychology*
  • Cocaine-Related Disorders / rehabilitation
  • Crack Cocaine
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Heart Rate / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Progesterone / adverse effects
  • Progesterone / therapeutic use*
  • Reinforcement, Psychology
  • Self Administration
  • Sex Characteristics
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Crack Cocaine
  • Progesterone