Fluoxetine as a potential pharmacotherapy for methamphetamine dependence: studies in mice

Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2006 Aug:1074:295-302. doi: 10.1196/annals.1369.026.


The monoamine transporters are the main targets of psychostimulant drugs, including methamphetamine (METH) and cocaine. Interestingly, the rewarding effects of cocaine are retained in dopamine transporter (DAT) knockout (KO) mice, while serotonin transporter (SERT) and DAT double KO mice do not exhibit conditioned place preference (CPP) to cocaine. These data suggest that SERT inhibition decreases the rewarding effects of psychostimulants. To further test this hypothesis, in the present study, we investigated the effects of intraperitoneal (i.p.) injections of 20 mg/kg fluoxetine, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), on 2 mg/kg METH (i.p.) CPP and locomotor sensitization to 1 mg/kg METH (i.p.) in C57BL/6J mice. Fluoxetine treatment before both the conditioning and preference tests abolished METH CPP. A two-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) revealed that METH CPP tended to be lower in mice pretreated with fluoxetine before the preference test than in control mice pretreated with saline before the preference test. Furthermore, pretreatment with fluoxetine had inhibitory effects on METH-induced locomotor sensitization. These results suggest that fluoxetine, a widely used medication for depression, may be also a useful tool for treating METH dependence.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amphetamine-Related Disorders / drug therapy*
  • Animals
  • Dopamine Agents / toxicity*
  • Fluoxetine / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Methamphetamine / toxicity*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Motor Activity / drug effects*
  • Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors / therapeutic use*


  • Dopamine Agents
  • Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors
  • Fluoxetine
  • Methamphetamine