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Neuropsychopharmacology. 1995 Jul;12(4):297-306.

Neurochemical and physiological effects of cocaine oscillate with sequential drug treatment: possibly a major factor in drug variability.

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Department of Psychiatry, Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, PA, USA.


Variability in response to drug treatment is a poorly understood problem with severe consequences for both the individual and the health care delivery system. Our data suggest that one source of variability may be inherent in the way physiological systems normally respond to repeated drug exposures. We report that for a wide array of endpoints-amphetamine-evoked, in vitro striatal dopamine efflux, amphetamine and K(+)-evoked efflux of heart norepinephrine and nonevoked plasma levels of corticosterone and glucose-repeated, in vivo cocaine (15 mg/kg IP) administration to male rats precipitated successive oscillations in the magnitude or direction of the organism's responsiveness to subsequent cocaine administration. This capacity of cocaine to produce oscillations in response to successive administrations appears to be due to its foreign/stressful aspect rather than its specific pharmacological properties.

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