Abuse liability of the anesthetic propofol: self-administration of propofol in rats under fixed-ratio schedules of drug delivery
LeSage MG, Stafford D, Glowa JR.
Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics,
Louisiana State University Medical Center,
Shreveport, 1501 Kings Highway,
Shreveport, LA 71130-3932, USA.
Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2000 Dec;153(1):148-54


RATIONALE: Previous reports suggest that propofol (PPF) may have abuse potential in humans. Hence, we hypothesized that PPF could reinforce self-administration behavior in other species. Positive reinforcing effects of PPF could be interpreted as an index of abuse liability. OBJECTIVE: Acquisition and maintenance of i.v. PPF self-administration were examined in 12 rats. METHODS: Six rats were initially given access to methohexital (MHX, 2.0 mg/kg per infusion) under a fixed ratio (FR) 1 schedule, while the other six were initially given access to PPF (1.7 mg/kg per infusion). Once stable responding was established, various doses of PPF (0.56, 1.0, and 1.7 mg/kg per infusion) and vehicle (Intralipid 20%) were made available. RESULTS: The number of PPF infusions per session was an inverse function of dose, with 0.56 mg/kg and 1.0 mg/kg per infusion maintaining significantly more infusions per session than vehicle in most rats under the FR 1 schedule. For some rats, the number of vehicle infusions per session was equal to or greater than the number of PPF infusions. Increasing the response requirement to FR 5 decreased the number of vehicle infusions per session in these rats, while PPF maintained a higher number of infusions than vehicle under this FR value in six of seven rats. CONCLUSION: PPF served as a reinforcer in rats under FR schedules of i.v. drug delivery, adding to the extant evidence that it has abuse potential.
Adverse effects
Obstetric anaesthesia
Molecular mechanisms
Propofol v methohexital
'The secularisation of pain'
Anaesthesia: rivalries and discoveries
Propofol: dreams, images and emotions
Volatile anaesthetics immobilise sensitive plant

and further reading

Future Opioids
BLTC Research
Utopian Surgery?
The Good Drug Guide
The Abolitionist Project
The Hedonistic Imperative
The Reproductive Revolution
Critique of Huxley's Brave New World