Effects of chronic fluvoxamine on ethanol- and food-maintained behaviors

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Acute treatment with fluvoxamine reduces responding for ethanol more than responding for food. However, pharmacotherapy for alcoholism is likely to require chronic treatment. These experiments were performed to assess the effects of chronic fluvoxamine on ethanol- and food-maintained behaviors. Effects of chronic fluvoxamine (10 and 17.8 mg/kg/day×30 days) on ethanol- and food-maintained responding were compared to responding during saline treatment in four Sprague–Dawley rats responding for ethanol and food under a multiple fixed-ratio 5, fixed-ratio 5 schedule. In two subjects, chronic fluvoxamine reduced ethanol-maintained responding more than food-maintained responding; however this effect was transient. In another subject, treatment persistently decreased food-maintained responding relative to ethanol-maintained responding. Finally, in one subject, fluvoxamine nonspecifically disrupted responding for food and ethanol. Similar to results in humans, outbred Sprague–Dawley rats had differential responses to chronic fluvoxamine. The effect was transient in rats that responded favorably (greater reduction of ethanol relative to food responding), while response reductions persisted throughout treatment in rats that responded unfavorably (greater reduction of food relative to ethanol or nonspecific reductions).

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