Dopamine receptor agonists, partial agonists and psychostimulant addiction

Trends Pharmacol Sci. 1994 Oct;15(10):374-9. doi: 10.1016/0165-6147(94)90158-9.


Despite the epidemic growth of psychostimulant addiction over the past years, few pharmacological means of intervention are available to date for clinical treatment. This is of importance since the withdrawal syndrome that follows abstinence from drugs such as cocaine and the amphetamines is characterized, among other symptoms, by intense craving for the abused drug, and this is considered a critical factor leading into relapse of drug use. In this article, Luigi Pulvirenti and George Koob focus on the modulatory role shown by drugs acting at the dopamine receptor on the various phases of psychostimulant dependence in preclinical models and in human studies, and suggest that a class of compounds with partial agonist properties at the dopamine receptor may have therapeutic potential.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Amphetamines*
  • Animals
  • Bromocriptine / therapeutic use
  • Cocaine*
  • Dopamine / metabolism
  • Dopamine Agonists / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Lisuride / therapeutic use
  • Self Administration
  • Substance-Related Disorders / drug therapy*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / psychology*


  • Amphetamines
  • Dopamine Agonists
  • Bromocriptine
  • Lisuride
  • Cocaine
  • Dopamine