Background: New psychoactive substances (NPS) are chemical analogues designed to mimic the effects of various classic recreational drugs of abuse including MDMA, LSD, and cannabis. NPS use is associated with concern about the acute and longer-term effects particular substances might have, with abuse and addiction as potential consequences. Impulsivity and sensitivity to the rewarding effects of drugs have been considered as risk factors for drug abuse. In light of the popularity of 4-fluoroamphetamine (4-FA), it is important to assess whether 4-FA can lead to subjective drug liking and wanting, and impulsive behavior, all factors contributing to the abuse likelihood of a substance.
Methods: A placebo-controlled 2-way crossover study in 12 healthy poly-drug using participants was conducted to test subjective and behavioral effects of 4-FA (100 mg). 4-FA concentrations were determined in serum up to 12 h after administration and two impulsivity tasks and two drug experience questionnaires assessing drug liking and wanting, and good and bad drug effect, were administered between 1 and 11 h post-administration.
Results: Findings showed that 4-FA did not affect impulsive behavior. Self-ratings of drug liking and wanting and good drug effect were increased 1 h after administration; this effect was absent 11 h after drug intake.
Discussion and conclusion: To conclude, 4-FA (single dose) increased self-rated liking and wanting, which is known to contribute to the abuse likelihood of a substance; however, it left another factor impulsive behavior unaffected. It has to be noted that the current picture is limited and might change with increased sample size, and/or different 4-FA doses.
Clinical trial registration: Trial acronym: 4-FA. URL: http://www.trialregister.nl/trialreg/admin/rctview.asp?TC=6164 . Registration number: NTR6164 (Dutch clinical trial registry number).
Keywords: 4-FA; Drug liking; Drug wanting; Good drug effect; Impulsive action; Impulsive reflection.