Self-administration of nalbuphine, butorphanol and pentazocine by morphine post-addict rats

Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 1982 Jan;16(1):167-71. doi: 10.1016/0091-3057(82)90030-2.


The purpose of the study was to define possible self-administration of nalbuphine, butorphanol and pentazocine by morphine post-addict rats. Rats were prepared with permanent EEG and EMG electrodes and indwelling IV cannulae, made tolerant to and physically dependent on morphine, then trained to lever press for morphine IV self-injections on a fixed ratio (FR) 20 schedule of reinforcement. Rats were then spontaneously withdrawn from morphine. When these morphine post-addict rats were returned to the experimental cages three to four weeks later, they were found to reestablish self-administration of morphine as well as to establish self-administration of nalbuphine, butorphanol and pentazocine. Suppression of REM sleep for at least 30 min was apparent following self-injections of these agents. After the stabilization of self-injection patterns, withdrawal from nalbuphine and pentazocine was found to be associated with intense abstinence symptoms. However, withdrawal from morphine and butorphanol was not. It can be concluded that while drug-seeking behavior for the above narcotics in morphine post-addict rats was analogous as measured by self-administration, nalbuphine and butorphanol appeared to produce lower levels of physical dependence.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Butorphanol* / pharmacology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Morphinans* / pharmacology
  • Morphine / pharmacology
  • Morphine Dependence / psychology*
  • Nalbuphine* / pharmacology
  • Pentazocine* / pharmacology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Self Administration*
  • Sleep, REM / drug effects
  • Substance Withdrawal Syndrome*


  • Morphinans
  • Morphine
  • Nalbuphine
  • Butorphanol
  • Pentazocine