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Pharmacol Rep. 2005 Nov-Dec;57(6):685-700.

The serotonergic system and its role in cocaine addiction.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology, Institute of Pharmacology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Smetna 12, PL 31-343 Kraków, Poland. filip@if-pan.krakow.pl


Cocaine is an alkaloid with psychostimulant action and high addictive potential. It possesses high affinity for the transporters of dopamine, serotonin (5-HT) and noradrenaline, and blocks reuptake of the above-mentioned monoamines. The present review summarized the contribution of 5-HT neurotransmitter system to rewarding and aversive properties of cocaine, to cocaine withdrawal and its long-term abuse. The present state of knowledge of 5-HT neurotransmission justifies the opinion that pharmacological manipulation in the 5-HT system may efficiently counteract the effects of cocaine withdrawal and prevent reinstatement of its abuse.

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