Low dose risperidone attenuates cue-induced but not heroin-induced reinstatement of heroin seeking in an animal model of relapse

Int J Neuropsychopharmacol. 2013 Aug;16(7):1569-75. doi: 10.1017/S1461145712001563. Epub 2013 Jan 18.


The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of pretreatment with risperidone on heroin self-administration and heroin-seeking behaviour induced by cues and heroin priming. Rats were trained to self-administer heroin under a fixed ratio 1 schedule for 2 wk and nose-poke responding was extinguished for 10 d, after which reinstatement of drug seeking was induced by conditioned cues or heroin priming. Acute risperidone administration at doses 10-100 μg/kg potently and dose-dependently inhibited reinstatement of conditioned cue-induced heroin seeking; the minimum dose of inhibition was 30 μg/kg. In contrast, risperidone at the same doses did not attenuate reinstatement induced by two priming doses of heroin (100 or 250 μg/kg s.c.). Risperidone at these doses failed to alter heroin self-administration and locomotion activity. These data demonstrate that acute treatment with low-dose risperidone inhibits conditioned cue-induced heroin seeking and risperidone may be an adjunctive therapy for the treatment of heroin addiction.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Analgesics, Opioid / administration & dosage
  • Analgesics, Opioid / adverse effects
  • Animals
  • Conditioning, Operant / drug effects
  • Cues*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Dopamine Antagonists / therapeutic use*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug-Seeking Behavior / drug effects*
  • Extinction, Psychological / drug effects
  • Heroin / administration & dosage
  • Heroin / adverse effects
  • Heroin Dependence / drug therapy*
  • Male
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Reinforcement, Psychology*
  • Risperidone / therapeutic use*
  • Secondary Prevention
  • Self Administration


  • Analgesics, Opioid
  • Dopamine Antagonists
  • Heroin
  • Risperidone