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J Clin Pharmacol. 1996 Nov;36(11):1039-50.

Comparison of methods for the assessment of central nervous system stimulant response after dextroamphetamine administration to healthy male volunteers.

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Department of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutics, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond 23298-0533, USA.


The objective of this investigation was to evaluate a series of potential pharmacodynamic measures of central nervous system stimulation, including quantitative electroencephalography (EEG) and neuroendocrine, mood, and psychomotor performance measures. The reproducibility and sensitivity of the measures were compared. The study was conducted in two parts. The first part investigated the interindividual and intraindividual variability associated with a series of potential pharmacologic response measures under baseline (i.e., drug-free) conditions. It was an open-label, three-period pilot study in which healthy male volunteers underwent a series of tests (EEG, a visual continuous performance task, a finger tapping task, and self-rated mood scales) repeatedly during each study period. The second part evaluated the sensitivity of a series of potential response measures to detect the effects of dextroamphetamine, and was a double-blind, placebo-controlled, four-period crossover study in nine healthy male volunteers. Subjects received 5 mg, 10 mg, or 20 mg of dextroamphetamine or placebo orally and underwent the same series of tests as in Part I in addition to blood collection for determination of serum prolactin and dextroamphetamine levels. Peripheral response to dextroamphetamine was assessed by heart rate and blood pressure measurement. The greatest variability among days, within days, and among participants was associated with the quantitative electroencephalographic parameters studied. First-session effects were apparent for several of the tests, including EEG. Consistent response on EEG (increased alpha power) to dextroamphetamine was observed only in the three subjects who had a baseline alpha activity greater than 35%. Serum prolactin levels were inversely associated with the amount of dextroamphetamine administered, with the largest decrease in serum prolactin levels observed after the 5-mg dose, and this finding was statistically significant. Mood scales showed that three of nine participants experienced dysphoria after at least one dose level of dextroamphetamine. The effect on mood was generally greater as the dose increased. Doses could not be distinguished based on the results of the performance tests. Serum prolactin concentration was the most sensitive measure of central nervous system stimulation on EEG produced by dextroamphetamine under these study conditions. Cardiovascular measures were more sensitive measures of dextroamphetamine effects than the central nervous system measures.

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