The potency of fluvoxamine to reduce ethanol self-administration decreases with concurrent availability of food

Brett C. Ginsburg, Jonathan W. Pinkston, Richard J. Lamb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor fluvoxamine reduces responding for ethanol at lower doses than responding for food when each is available in separate components or separate groups of rats. However, when both are available concurrently and deliveries earned per session are equal, this apparent selectivity inverts and food-maintained behavior is more sensitive than ethanol-maintained behavior to rate-decreasing effects of fluvoxamine. Here, we investigated further the impact that concurrent access to both food and ethanol has on the potency of fluvoxamine. Fluvoxamine (5.6-17.8 mg/kg) potency was assessed under conditions in which food and ethanol were available concurrently and response rates were equal [average variable intervals (VIs) 405 and 14 s for food and ethanol, respectively], as well as when density of food delivery was increased (average VI 60 s for food and VI 14 s for ethanol). The potency of fluvoxamine was also determined when only ethanol was available (food extinction and average VI 14 s for ethanol) and under multiple VIs (VI 30 s for food and ethanol) wherein either food or ethanol was the only programmed reinforcement available during each component. Fluvoxamine was less potent at decreasing ethanol self-administration when food was available concurrently {ED50 [95% confidence limit (CL): 8.2 (6.5-10.3) and 10.7 (7.9-14.4)]} versus when ethanol was available in isolation [ED50: 4.0 (2.7-5.9) and 5.1 (4.3-6.0)]. Effects on food were similar under each condition in which food was available. The results demonstrate that the potency of fluvoxamine in reducing ethanol-maintained behavior depends on whether ethanol is available in isolation or in the context of concurrently scheduled food reinforcement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)134-142
Number of pages9
JournalBehavioural pharmacology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2012


  • ethanol
  • fluvoxamine
  • food
  • rat
  • reinforcement schedule

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology


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