The effects of repeated footshock stress or cocaine on the kinetics of dopamine clearance in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) were measured by rotating disk electrode voltammetry (RDEV). Five groups of rats were used: animals were either naive (non-handled), pre-treated with five daily saline (1 ml/kg i.p.) or cocaine (15 mg/kg i.p.) injections, or pre-treated with five daily 20-min sessions of sham shock or footshock (0.05 mA/200 ms/s). Dopamine clearance was measured after a 1-week withdrawal period. No difference in Km values was present among the treatment groups, with the mean Km value at approximately 0.5 microM for all groups. However, Vmax values were approximately 50% higher in daily sham shock-, footshock- and cocaine-pre-treated animals compared to naive rats. The increased ability to remove dopamine in these animals suggests that altered dopamine clearance may serve an adaptive mechanism in the mPFC.