Intravenous self-injection of methcathinone in the baboon

Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 1994 Apr;47(4):981-3. doi: 10.1016/0091-3057(94)90307-7.


Methcathinone is a phenylisopropylamine that has been produced by clandestine laboratories and identified in illicit drug traffic. The present study evaluated the intravenous self-administration of methcathinone in three baboons using a cocaine substitution procedure. Intravenous self-injections were available 24 h/day according to a fixed-ratio (FR) schedule with a 3-h timeout following each injection. Doses of racemic methcathinone HCl (0.01-1.0 mg/kg/injection) and its vehicle were substituted for cocaine for 15 or more days. A concurrent FR schedule of food pellet delivery allowed evaluation of any changes in food intake. Self-injection of methcathinone was dose dependent. The lower doses of methcathinone, 0.01 and 0.032, maintained low and intermediate rates of self-injection, respectively, while the higher doses, 0.1, 0.32, and 1.0, maintained rates above vehicle control and comparable to those maintained by cocaine. Acute administration of 3.2 mg/kg to two baboons produced signs of psychomotor stimulant toxicity. Systematic changes in food intake were not observed. The present data indicate that methcathinone functions as a positive reinforcer in baboons and suggests that methcathinone may have abuse potential.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal / drug effects
  • Cocaine / administration & dosage
  • Cocaine / toxicity
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Illicit Drugs
  • Injections, Intravenous
  • Male
  • Papio
  • Propiophenones / administration & dosage*
  • Propiophenones / toxicity
  • Reinforcement, Psychology
  • Self Administration
  • Substance-Related Disorders / etiology


  • Illicit Drugs
  • Propiophenones
  • monomethylpropion
  • Cocaine