Mecamylamine blockade of both positive and negative effects of IV nicotine in human volunteers

Leslie H. Lundahl, Jack E. Henningfield, Scott E. Lukas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


The ganglionic blocker mecamylamine blocks the positive reinforcing effects of IV nicotine, but has been shown to increase cigarette smoking behavior under some conditions. The effects of mecamylamine on subjective and physiologic responses to IV nicotine were evaluated in seven healthy male volunteer cigarette smokers who provided informed consent and resided on a clinical pharmacology research unit. On four separate days, each subject was given a different oral dose of mecamylamine (placebo, 5, 10, or 20 mg). One hour later subjects received the first of four doses of IV nicotine (placebo, 0.75, 1.5, and 3.0 mg); the remaining injections were given at 1-h intervals. Both the positive effects following 0.75 mg and negative effects following 3.0 mg of nicotine were significantly reversed by mecamylamine. Thus, the mecamylamine-induced increase in smoking may be due both to competitive blockade of nicotinic receptors and nicotine's reversal of aversive effects. Copyright (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Inc.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)637-643
Number of pages7
JournalPharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Craving
  • Human subjects
  • Mecamylamine
  • Nicotine
  • Tobacco

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Pharmacology


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