Discriminative stimulus and locomotor effects of para-substituted and benzofuran analogs of amphetamine

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15 Scopus citations


Novel psychoactive substances have maintained a prominent role in the global drug culture, despite increased regulation by governing bodies. Novel compounds continue to become available on the market, often in “Ecstasy” or “Molly” formulations in lieu of MDMA, at a much faster rate than they can be properly characterized. The current study aimed to investigate the discriminative stimulus and locomotor effects of three putatively entactogenic compounds that have become increasingly prevalent on the drug market: 5-(2-aminopropyl)-benzofuran (5-APB), 6-(2-aminopropryl)-2,3-dihydrobenzofuran (6-APDB), and 4-fluoroamphetamine (4-FA). Locomotor stimulant effects were assessed in an open-field assay for locomotor activity using Swiss-Webster mice. Discriminative stimulus effects were assessed in Sprague-Dawley rats trained to discriminate either cocaine, methamphetamine, DOM, or MDMA from vehicle. The benzofuran compounds produced locomotor stimulation whereas 4-FA depressed locomotor activity. The benzofurans substituted for the discriminative stimulus effects of MDMA, but only partially or not at all for methamphetamine, cocaine, and DOM, whereas 4-FA fully substituted for MDMA, methamphetamine and cocaine, but not DOM. These results indicate an MDMA-like pattern of abuse might be expected for the benzofurans, whereas 4-FA may be substituted for psychostimulants and MDMA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-45
Number of pages7
JournalDrug and Alcohol Dependence
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2017


  • Amphetamine
  • Benzofuran
  • Drug discrimination
  • Rat


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