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Exp Clin Psychopharmacol. 2010 Aug;18(4):305-15. doi: 10.1037/a0020509.

Effects of oral caffeine pretreatment on response to intravenous nicotine and cocaine.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21224-6823, USA.


Previous research suggests that under conditions of chronic daily caffeine administration, caffeine increases the effects of nicotine. Little is known about the effects of caffeine pretreatment on response to nicotine under infrequent caffeine administration conditions. The present study examined whether infrequent (not on consecutive days) acute oral caffeine administration alters subject-rated, physiological, and monetary value effects of intravenous nicotine in regular users of caffeine, tobacco, and cocaine. To determine the specificity of effects of caffeine on response to nicotine, the effects of caffeine administration on response to intravenous cocaine (another short-acting stimulant) were also studied. Fourteen (1 woman) volunteers participated in this 3-4 week, double-blind, inpatient study. Volunteers participated in 10 experimental conditions in pseudo-randomized order, in which oral caffeine (250 mg/70 kg) or placebo was administered 1 hr before an intravenous injection, consisting of nicotine (1 or 2 mg/70 kg), cocaine (15 or 30 mg/70 kg), or saline. Infrequent acute caffeine pretreatment attenuated the increase resulting from 2 mg/70 kg nicotine administration on ratings of "rush," "good effects," "liking," "high," and "drowsy/sleepy." Caffeine had no significant effect on physiological response to nicotine. Caffeine had no significant effect on subject-rated and physiological response to cocaine, with the exception that caffeine significantly augmented blood pressure response to cocaine. In contrast to the previous research using chronic caffeine maintenance, these data suggest that infrequent acute caffeine administration may attenuate nicotine effects.

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