Stimulant activities of dimethocaine in mice: reinforcing and anxiogenic effects

Psychopharmacology (Berl). 1996 Oct;127(4):323-7. doi: 10.1007/s002130050093.


The present study evaluated the effects of dimethocaine and procaine, esteratic local anesthetics, on locomotor activity, conditioned place preference and on the elevated plus-maze test of anxiety in mice, behavioral tests believed to be sensitive to cocaine action. Acute administration of dimethocaine (10-40 mg/kg, IP) significantly increased locomotor activity and time spent on the drug-paired side and reduced the relative number of entries and time spent on the open arms of the plus-maze in mice. Procaine (20-50 mg/kg, IP) failed to affect these responses. These data demonstrate the locomotor stimulant, reinforcing and anxiogenic actions of dimethocaine similar to those reported for cocaine in animals. In addition, these findings support a role for dopaminergic activity, rather than local anesthetic action, in the behavioral effects caused by dimethocaine.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aminobenzoates / pharmacology*
  • Anesthetics, Local / pharmacology*
  • Animals
  • Anxiety / chemically induced*
  • Behavior, Animal / drug effects*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Motor Activity / drug effects*
  • Procaine / pharmacology
  • Propanolamines / pharmacology*


  • Aminobenzoates
  • Anesthetics, Local
  • Propanolamines
  • Procaine
  • dimethocaine