Dextromethorphan and bupropion reduces high level remifentanil self-administration in rats.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Opiate addiction has risen substantially during the past decade. New treatments to combat opiate addiction are sorely needed. The current study was conducted to determine the acute individual and interactive effects of bupropion and dextromethorphan in a rat model of opiate self-administration using the short-acting synthetic opioid remifentanil. Both of these drugs have been found to reduce self-administration of nicotine. Bupropion and dextromethorphan and their combination had differential effects depending on whether the rats showed higher or lower baseline remifentanil self-administration. The rats with higher initial remifentanil self-administration showed a significant decrease in remifentanil self-administration with bupropion or dextromethorphan treatment, compared to the vehicle control condition. This decrease in self-remifentanil administration was most pronounced when combination of the higher doses of bupropion and dextromethorphan were administered. In contrast, the rats with lower baseline remifentanil self-administration showed the opposite effect of drug treatment with an increase in remifentanil self-administration with bupropion treatment compared to the vehicle control condition. Dextromethorphan had no significant effect inthis group. This study shows that combination bupropion and dextromethorphan affects remifentanil self-administration in a complex fashion with differential effects on low and high baseline responders. In subjects with high baseline remifentanil self-administration, bupropion and dextromethorphan treatment significantly reduced self-administration, whereas in subjects with low baseline remifentanil self-administration, bupropion increased remifentanil self-administration and dextromethorphan had no discernible effect. This finding suggests that combination bupropion-dextromethorphan should be tested in humans, with a focus on treating people with high-level opiate use.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Blair, G; Wells, C; Ko, A; Modarres, J; Pace, C; Davis, JM; Rezvani, AH; Rose, JE; Levin, ED

Published Date

  • June 2020

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 193 /

Start / End Page

  • 172919 -

PubMed ID

  • 32246985

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC7291818

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1873-5177

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.pbb.2020.172919


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States