Discriminative stimulus effects of caffeine and benzphetamine in amphetamine-trained volunteers

Psychopharmacology (Berl). 1988;96(3):302-8. doi: 10.1007/BF00216054.


The discriminative stimulus (DS) and subjective effects of caffeine (100 and 300 mg, PO) and benzphetamine (12.5 and 50 mg, PO) were studied in 18 normal human volunteers trained to discriminate between d-amphetamine (10 mg) and placebo. d-Amphetamine increased ratings of drug liking and activity level and produced a profile of subjective effects characteristic of amphetamine and related psychomotor stimulants. The DS effects of d-amphetamine generalized only partially to caffeine and benzphetamine; mean percent d-amphetamine-appropriate responding was 42 and 58 after 100 and 300 mg caffeine, respectively, and 17 and 56 after 12.5 and 50 mg benzphetamine, respectively. Neither dose of caffeine affected ratings of drug liking or activity level, but 300 mg caffeine did produce a profile of subjective effects that partially overlapped with that produced by d-amphetamine. Benzphetamine 50 mg, but not 12.5 mg, increased ratings of drug liking and activity level and produced a profile of subjective effects qualitatively similar to, but weaker than, that produced by d-amphetamine. For both caffeine and benzphetamine, a close relationship was observed between their subjective effects and their ability to substitute for the DS effects of d-amphetamine. These results correspond well with findings obtained from similar studies conducted with laboratory animals, providing further support for the reliability and validity of human drug discrimination paradigms.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Benzphetamine / pharmacology*
  • Caffeine / pharmacology*
  • Dextroamphetamine / pharmacology*
  • Discrimination Learning / drug effects
  • Discrimination, Psychological / drug effects*
  • Emotions / drug effects
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Phenethylamines / pharmacology*
  • Time Factors


  • Phenethylamines
  • Benzphetamine
  • Caffeine
  • Dextroamphetamine