, Volume 91, Issue 3, pp 391-393

Mecamylamine pretreatment increases subsequent nicotine self-administration as indicated by changes in plasma nicotine level

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Acute administration of mecamylamine, a centrally active nicotinic cholinergic agonist, has been shown to increase amount of smoking as indicated by smoking topography (e.g., puff rate, puff duration), expired carbon monoxide changes, and other inferential measures. In the present study, subjects showed significantly greater increases in plasma nicotine following smoking of two high-nicotine research cigarettes when pretreated with mecamylamine than when pretreated with placebo, even though no significant differences in puff volume or puff number were detected. Interestingly, none of our subjects reported nausea, although some achieved plasma nicotine levels at which nausea would typically be expected. We attribute the observed increases in nicotine intake to compensatory behavior designed to overcome mecamylamine's blocking effects.