Effects of Bupropion on Simulated Demand for Cigarettes and the Subjective Effects of Smoking

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Nicotine and Tobacco Research






Oxford University Press

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Introduction: The biobehavioral mechanism(s) mediating bupropion’s efficacy are not well understood. Behavioral economic measures such as demand curves have proven useful in investigations of the reinforcing effects of drugs of abuse. Behavioral economic measures may also be used to measure the effect of pharmacotherapies on the reinforcing effects of drugs of abuse.

Methods: The effects of bupropion on simulated demand for cigarettes were investigated in a placebo-controlled double-blind clinical trial. Participants reported the number of cigarettes they would purchase and consume in a single day at a range of prices. The effects of medication on the subjective effects of smoking were also explored.

Results: Demand for cigarettes was well described by an exponential demand equation. Bupropion did not significantly decrease the maximum number of cigarettes that participants said they would smoke in a single day nor did it significantly alter the relation between price per cigarette and demand. Baseline demand elasticity did not predict smoking cessation, but changes in elasticity following 1 week of treatment did. Medication group had no effect on any subjective effects of smoking.

Discussion: Bupropion had no significant effects on demand for cigarettes. The exponential demand equation, recently introduced in behavioral economics, proved amenable to human simulated demand and might be usefully employed in other pharmacotherapy studies as it provides a potentially useful measure of changes in the essential value of the drug as a reinforcer. Such changes may be useful in predicting the efficacy of medications designed to reduce drug consumption.


Originally published by Oxford University Press. Abstract available through remote link. Subscription required to access article fulltext.
Note: Greg Madden was affiliated with the University of Kansas at time of publication.