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.