Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Br J Addict. 1991 Dec;86(12):1549-58.

Drug abuse potential evaluation in animals.

Author information

Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Medical College of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond 23298-0613.


Animal laboratory studies can provide useful information concerning the potential of drugs for abuse. Over the past 50 years, methods have been developed for use with animal subjects which allow the evaluation of pharmacological properties of drugs which are particularly relevant to their abuse. The methods for preclinical drug abuse liability testing are reviewed under six heading: (1) establishment of the degree of pharmacological equivalence to known drugs of abuse, (2) drug discrimination studies, (3) tests of tolerance and cross-tolerance, (4) tests of physical dependence capacity, (5) drug self-administration tests of reinforcing effects, and (6) evaluation of toxicity and performance impairment at self-administered doses. Preclinical studies can be helpful early in drug development to select lead compounds with low abuse potential for further study. In the case of new or already marketed medications, animal testing can often compliment and extend abuse liability evaluation in human subjects. The results of abuse potential evaluation studies can be useful in making decisions about the possible need for regulation under national and international drug laws, and thus play an important role in drug abuse prevention.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Loading ...
    Support Center