Stimulant-induced changes in smoking and caloric intake: Influence of rate of onset

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Abstract

Rate-of-onset modulates the subject-rated effects of stimulants. Results of two studies from our laboratory demonstrate that immediate-release methylphenidate increases smoking and decreases caloric intake. Whether rate-of-onset influences the effects of methylphenidate on smoking and eating is unknown. The present experiment examined the influence of a range of doses of immediate- (7.5–30 mg) and sustained-release (18–72 mg) methylphenidate as well as placebo on smoking and eating. Eight cigarette smokers participated. A double-dummy drug administration procedure was used to maintain the double blind because immediate-release methylphenidate produces peak plasma concentrations 1.5–2 h and the sustained-release formulation produces peak plasma concentrations 6–8 h after oral administration. Smoking and eating were assessed for 4 h across the predicted peak effects of both methylphenidate formulations. Measures of smoking included total cigarettes, puffs, and carbon monoxide levels. Snacks and decaffeinated beverages were available ad libitum and caloric intake was monitored during the four-hour smoking session. Immediate- and sustained-release methylphenidate increased smoking and decreased caloric intake. The effects of methylphenidate generally did not vary as a function of formulation. The results of this study may have important implications for the treatment of disorders that require stimulant medications. Smoking should be monitored in patients that are prescribed stimulant medications, regardless of the formulation type.

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