Separate mechanisms for behavioral, cardiovascular, and hormonal responses to dextroamphetamine in man

John I. Nurnberger, Susan Simmons-Alling, Linda Kessler, Suzanne Jimerson, Judith Schreiber, Eric Hollander, Carol A. Tamminga, N. Suzan Nadi, David S. Goldstein, Elliot S. Gershon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


The neurochemical specificity of physiological, biochemical, and psychological responses to dextroamphetamine was tested by pretreating volunteers with haloperidol (0.014 mg/kg IM), proparonol (0.1 mg/kg IV), thymoxamine (0.1 mg/kg IV), or placebo prior to 0.3 mg/kg IV amphetamine. Healthy volunteers (N=12) participated in the studies, but not all volunteers received each drug combination. Haloperidol prevented dextroamphetamine-induced behavioral excitation, but did not significantly affect plasma norepinephrine or pressor responses, whereas propranolol inhibited norepinephrine and pressor responses without influencing excitation or other behavioral responses. Thymoxamine did not affect any of the responses measured. None of the agents significantly affected plasma cortisol or growth hormone responses. The prolactin rise following dextroamphetamine was potentiated by haloperidol. The results are consistent with the hypothesis that behavioral excitation after dextroamphetamine occurs through a dopaminergic mechanism, and pressor responses through a noradrenergic mechanism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)200-204
Number of pages5
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 1984
Externally publishedYes


  • Behavioral responses
  • Dextroamphetamine
  • Mechanism of action

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology


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