Psychopharmacology

, Volume 57, Issue 2, pp 137–144 | Cite as

Experimental barbiturate dependence

I. Barbiturate dependence development in rats by drug-admixed food (DAF) method
  • Eijiro Tagashira
  • Tomoko Izumi
  • Saizo Yanaura
Original Investigations

Abstract

A method for testing a rat's physical-dependence liability to sedaditive-hypnotic agents and for evaluating that dependence was studied by using the method. Rats received phenobarbital- or barbital-admixed food on a graded-increase dosage schedule over 30–40 days. Manifestations of CNS-suppressing action of either drug (e.g., systemic muscle relaxation, motor incoordination, staggering gait, and ptosis) persisted day and night during the drug medication. Twenty-four to 48 h after withdrawal of either drug, abstinence symptoms (e.g., muscle fasciculation, nuchal twitching, vocalization, increased irritability, ataxia, hyperthermia, and clonic-tonic and grand mal-type convulsions) were evidenced in all animals (N=6), some of which died after convulsions. These withdrawal signs in rats were classified and found to be closely correlated with the magnitude of weight loss during the withdrawal. The classification provides a basis for quantitatively assessing physical-dependence liability. The data obtained in the present study suggest that rats, like dogs and monkeys, are suitable experimental animals for tests in early stages of dependence liability, and that the administration of drug-admixed food is a useful method of developing dependence on both barbiturate and morphine-type drugs.

Key words

Barbiturate dependence Rats Drug-admixed food Withdrawal signs of barbiturates 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eijiro Tagashira
    • 1
  • Tomoko Izumi
    • 1
  • Saizo Yanaura
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PharmacologyHoshi College of PharmacyTokyoJapan

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