Effects of the reproductive cycle and ovarian hormones on drugs of abuse and addictiona

DrugSpeciesStage of Addiction Cycle
Binge/IntoxicationWithdrawal/Negative Affect & Preoccupation/Anticipation
AlcoholHumans• Premenstrual syndrome-related negative affect increases intake• Less stress-induced craving during luteal phase
• Enhanced positive effect in luteal phase
Rodents• Intake greatest during diestrus• Progesterone converted to allopregnanolone modulates withdrawal symptoms
• Preference lowest during proestrus/estrus
• Ovariectomy or pregnancy decreases preference
CocaineHumans• Subjective effects greatest during follicular phase• High progesterone associated with less stress- and cue-induced craving than a low progesterone group
Rodents• Ovariectomy attenuates self-administration• Estradiol enhances cocaine-induced reinstatement and augments cocaine seeking
• Estradiol enhances intake and motivation• Females in estrus exhibit greater cocaine-induced responding
• Motivation for cocaine greater in proestrus/estrus than in diestrus• Progesterone and allopregnanolone block cocaine-primed reinstatement
OpiatesHumans• No studies on reinforcing effects of opiates across reproductive cycle• No studies of withdrawal or relapse across reproductive cycle
Rodents• Estradiol enhances intake and motivation• No studies of withdrawal or relapse across reproductive cycle
NicotineHumans• Reduced craving during luteal phase• Meta-analysis found greater withdrawal during the luteal phase than during the follicular phase
• Women with higher progesterone in luteal phase have blunted subjective pleasure from smoking• Enhanced effect of nicotine cues during follicular phase
Rodents• Estradiol is necessary for initiation of nicotine intake in females• Estradiol is necessary for the effect of stress on relapse in females
CannabinoidsHumans• No hormone effect on use or negative affect• No information available
Rodents• No information available• Ovariectomy attenuates cue-induced reinstatement
  • a Summarizing information presented in this article, see text for references.