Citalopram as an inhibitor of
voluntary ethanol intake in the male rat

Hedlund L, Wahlstrom G
Department of Pharmacology,
Umea University, Sweden.
Alcohol 1998 Nov; 16(4):295-303


Psychological dependence was induced in rats by a 1-year intermittent exposure to intoxicating doses of ethanol, and recorded by the rat's ability to later take the same dose of ethanol independent of the offered concentration. Citalopram (10 or 40 mg/kg/day) was given for 3 weeks with ethanol available only the first and the last day; 10 mg/kg had no effect. On the first treatment day 40 mg/kg decreased ethanol intake. On the last treatment day 40 mg/kg had no effect. The following week the ethanol intake was higher than before the treatment in the 40 mg/kg group. During the four posttreatment weeks the ethanol intake of the 40 mg/kg group dropped significantly. Citalopram was retested 18 weeks after the first treatment during 1 week, with continuous access to ethanol; 10 mg/kg had no effect and 40 mg/kg decreased ethanol intake at day 1, reaching a minimum in day 3. A tolerance to this effect was seen at the end of the week. Thus, in this model an acute dose of citalopram can decrease ethanol intake, but tolerance to this effect develops when citalopram is given both with and without access to ethanol.
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