, Volume 103, Issue 2, pp 154–161 | Cite as

Self-injection of barbiturates, benzodiazepines and other sedative-anxiolytics in baboons

  • Roland R. Griffiths
  • R. J. Lamb
  • Christine A. Sannerud
  • Nancy A. Ator
  • Joseph V. Brady
Original Investigations


Self-injection of 12 sedative-anxiolytics was examined in baboons. Intravenous injections and initiation of a 3-h time-out were dependent upon completion of a fixed-ratio schedule requirement, permitting eight injections per day. Before testing each dose of drug, self-injection performance was established with cocaine. Subsequently, a test dose was substituted for cocaine. At some doses, all five of the benzodiazepines examined (alprazolam, bromazepam, chlordiazepoxide, lorazepam, triazolam) maintained rates (number of injections per day) of drug self-injection above vehicle control in each of the baboons tested. Maximum rates of benzodiazepine self-injection were generally submaximal. Of the benzodiazepines examined, triazolam maintained the highest rates of self-injection. Among the three barbiturates tested, methohexital generally maintained high rates of self-injection in contrast to hexobarbital and phenobarbital, which only maintained low rates. Of the four non-benzodiazepine non-barbiturate sedatives examined, both chloral hydrate and methyprylon occasionally maintained high rates of self-injection. Although there were differences within and across animals, baclofen maintained intermediate rates of self-injection. The novel anxiolytic buspirone maintained only low rates of self-injection that were not different from vehicle. This study further validates the self-injection methodology for assessing sedative-anxiolytic abuse liability and provides new information about drug elimination rate as a determinant of drug self-administration.

Key words

Benzodiazepines Barbiturates Anxiolytics Drug abuse Baboons 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roland R. Griffiths
    • 1
    • 2
  • R. J. Lamb
    • 1
  • Christine A. Sannerud
    • 1
  • Nancy A. Ator
    • 1
  • Joseph V. Brady
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesThe Johns Hopkins University School of MedicineBaltimoreUSA
  2. 2.Department of NeuroscienceThe Johns Hopkins University School of MedicineBaltimoreUSA

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