Behavioral effects of cocaine and its interaction with d-amphetamine and morphine in rats

Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 1990 Mar;35(3):595-600. doi: 10.1016/0091-3057(90)90296-t.


Drugs of abuse are commonly co-abused, and frequently these combinations produce effects which cannot be predicted by studying the effects of the individual drugs. To investigate the behavioral interactions which occur following combinations of cocaine plus amphetamine or cocaine plus morphine, rats were trained to respond under a differential reinforcement of low rates (DRL) schedule (10-14 sec). Cocaine (0.1-10 mg/kg) and d-amphetamine (0.1-3 mg/kg) decreased the percentage of reinforced responses (efficiency) at doses which had no effect on overall rate of responding. Following moderate doses of either drug, the interresponse time (IRT) distribution showed an increase in the percentage of shorter (less than 10 sec) IRT's. Morphine (0.1-10 mg/kg) also decreased efficiency, but the decrease which occurred was only observed at doses which also decreased overall response rates. As might be expected, the IRT distribution for morphine showed a dose-related increase in the percentage of long IRT's (greater than 14 sec). When doses of morphine which had no significant effect when administered alone (1 or 3 mg/kg) were combined with cocaine, the cocaine dose-response curve for efficiency was shifted down and to the left and response rates were increased. Analysis of the IRT distribution showed that the combination of an ineffective dose of cocaine, 1 mg/kg, plus 3 mg/kg morphine produced a shift in the IRT distribution to the left (an increase in the percentage of short IRT's). When cocaine was combined with 0.3 mg/kg d-amphetamine, a dose which had no effect when given alone, no significant interactions were observed on efficiency or overall rate of responding.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amphetamines / pharmacology*
  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal / drug effects*
  • Cocaine / pharmacology*
  • Discrimination Learning / drug effects
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug Interactions
  • Morphine / pharmacology*
  • Reinforcement, Psychology*


  • Amphetamines
  • Morphine
  • Cocaine