Progesterone attenuates cocaine-induced responses

Horm Behav. 2010 Jun;58(1):22-32. doi: 10.1016/j.yhbeh.2009.10.002. Epub 2009 Oct 9.


In this review, we summarize literature focused on how progesterone alters cocaine-induced psychomotor, reinforcement, and physiological responses. Clinical studies suggest that progesterone attenuates the subjective effects of cocaine. Similarly, preclinical studies have demonstrated that cocaine-induced reward and psychomotor responses are attenuated after progesterone administration. In rats progesterone also reduces the reinforcement effects of cocaine attenuates acquisition, escalation, reinstatement of cocaine self-administration, and cocaine-seeking behaviors. Progesterone also counteracts the facilitatory effects of estrogen on cocaine self-administration and psychomotor activation. These findings suggest that progesterone has a potential in clinical applications as a treatment for cocaine addiction. Constantly changing progesterone serum levels in female humans and rats affect the female's reinforcement responses to cocaine and may in part contribute to the known sex differences in cocaine responses.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cocaine / administration & dosage
  • Cocaine / pharmacokinetics
  • Cocaine / pharmacology*
  • Dopamine Uptake Inhibitors / administration & dosage
  • Dopamine Uptake Inhibitors / pharmacokinetics
  • Dopamine Uptake Inhibitors / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Models, Neurological
  • Motor Activity / drug effects
  • Motor Activity / physiology
  • Progesterone / metabolism*
  • Reinforcement, Psychology
  • Sex Characteristics


  • Dopamine Uptake Inhibitors
  • Progesterone
  • Cocaine