Asians compared to Whites show increased response to d-amphetamine on select subjective and cardiovascular measures

Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2016 May;144:73-7. doi: 10.1016/j.pbb.2016.03.003. Epub 2016 Mar 4.


Objective: Identifying factors that moderate subjective response to stimulants is important for understanding individuals at risk for abusing these drugs. Some research suggests that Asians may respond differently to stimulants than other races, but controlled human laboratory research of stimulant administration effects in Asians is scant.

Methods: In this double-blind counterbalanced within-subject study, healthy stimulant-naïve participants (N = 65; 55% Asian; 63% female; age 18-35) received a single dose of 20-mg oral d-amphetamine or placebo on separate days. At each testing day, subjective measures of abuse liability and cardiovascular assessments were administered at repeated intervals before and after drug administration over a 4-hour period.

Results: Asians (vs. Whites) demonstrated greater d-amphetamine-induced increases in diastolic blood pressure and ratings of 'Feel High' and 'Like Drug'.

Conclusions: Asian and White healthy young adults may differ in certain subjective and cardiovascular responses to acute doses of d-amphetamine. Such individual differences could help explain between-person differences in abuse potential of d-amphetamine and other stimulants.

Keywords: Asian; d-amphetamine; drug response; race.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Asian Continental Ancestry Group*
  • Cardiovascular Physiological Phenomena / drug effects*
  • Dextroamphetamine / pharmacology*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • European Continental Ancestry Group*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Placebos
  • Young Adult


  • Placebos
  • Dextroamphetamine