Disulfiram enhances subjective effects of dextroamphetamine in humans

Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2008 Sep;90(3):394-8. doi: 10.1016/j.pbb.2008.03.021. Epub 2008 Apr 4.


Disulfiram has shown promise in several clinical trials for cocaine addiction, but its potential utility in the treatment of amphetamine addiction has not been examined. The goal of this study was to determine the effects of disulfiram on acute physiological and subjective responses to dextroamphetamine in healthy volunteers. Five male and 5 female subjects participated in an outpatient double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study. Subjects were randomly assigned to a sequence of disulfiram (250 mg/day) or placebo treatments each lasting for 4 days. Day four of each treatment period was the experimental session, in which subjects orally ingested a single dose of dextroamphetamine (20 mg/70 kg). Outcome measures included heart rate, blood pressure, plasma cortisol and prolactin, subjective and performance on the Sustained Attention to Response Test (SART). Disulfiram did not affect dextroamphetamine-induced increases in heart rate, blood pressure, cortisol, or prolactin. Disulfiram did enhance some of the subjective effects of dextroamphetamine including ratings of "high," "anxious," "bad drug effects," "want more drug" and "drug liking" and was also associated with decreased performance in the SART test. How these enhanced subjective amphetamine responses affect cocaine use behavior remains to be determined in future clinical trials.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Affect / drug effects
  • Alcohol Deterrents / pharmacology*
  • Amphetamine-Related Disorders / psychology*
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects
  • Cognition / drug effects
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Dextroamphetamine / pharmacology*
  • Disulfiram / pharmacology*
  • Dopamine Uptake Inhibitors / pharmacology*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Heart Rate / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Hydrocortisone / blood
  • Male
  • Prolactin / blood
  • Psychomotor Performance / drug effects
  • Reaction Time / drug effects
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Alcohol Deterrents
  • Dopamine Uptake Inhibitors
  • Prolactin
  • Disulfiram
  • Dextroamphetamine
  • Hydrocortisone