Self-administration of phenylpropanolamine (PPA) by rats previously trained to self-administer amphetamine. Academic Article uri icon


  • Central nervous system stimulation, similar to that observed for amphetamine, has been attributed to phenylpropanolamine (PPA). However, formal tests, using evaluation of locomotion or of self-administration, fail to reveal that PPA is a stimulant. Self-administration studies have trained rats to self-administer cocaine and then have attempted to switch rats to PPA with no success of transfer. The present study further examined the reinforcing properties of PPA (0.08, 0.16, and 0.32 mg/infusion, IV) in rats that were initially trained to self-administer d-amphetamine (0.005-0.08 mg/infusion) in a two-lever paradigm. Self-administration of amphetamine was a function of dose with 0.01 mg/infusion producing reliably high responding on the active lever. The proportion of active/inactive lever presses remained constant (0.60-0.80) across the amphetamine dose range. PPA was dose-dependently self-administered during the first hour of each session with rats responding at approximately 70% on the active lever. In contrast, responding on the active lever dropped off to approximately 48% when saline was substituted for amphetamine. These data document that rats with prior exposure to amphetamine will self-administer PPA during the initial portion of a three-hour test.

published proceedings

  • Pharmacol Biochem Behav

author list (cited authors)

  • Wellman, P. J., Shelton, K., & Schenk, S.

citation count

  • 9

complete list of authors

  • Wellman, PJ||Shelton, K||Schenk, S

publication date

  • September 1989