It has been proposed that the relatively nonselective dopamine receptor antagonist flupenthixol may be useful in the treatment of cocaine dependence. Drugs used in the treatment of cocaine dependence are administered chronically; however, most preclinical studies have examined only the acute effects of flupenthixol treatment on the effects of cocaine. Consequently, the purpose of the present study was to compare the effects of acute and chronic treatment with flupenthixol (0.0032-0.032 mg/kg) on the discriminative stimulus and reinforcing effects to cocaine in rhesus monkeys. One group of six monkeys was trained to discriminate 0.4 mg/kg cocaine (i.m.) from saline in a two-lever, food-reinforced, drug discrimination procedure. A second group of four monkeys was trained to respond for 0.032 mg/kg/injection cocaine (i.v.) and 1-g banana-flavored food pellets during alternating daily cycles of cocaine and food availability. Neither acute nor chronic treatment with a low dose of flupenthixol (0.0032 mg/kg) significantly altered the discriminative stimulus or reinforcing effects of cocaine. Higher doses of flupenthixol (0.01-0.032 mg/kg) produced a surmountable blockade of both the discriminative stimulus and reinforcing effects of cocaine, shifting the dose-effect curves for both cocaine discrimination and cocaine self-administration up to 0.5 log unit to the right. However, doses of flupenthixol that altered cocaine discrimination also decreased response rates. Similarly, doses of flupenthixol that decreased cocaine self-administration also often decreased rates of food-maintained responding. Consequently, nonselective behavioral effects of flupenthixol may have contributed to its effects on cocaine discrimination and self-administration. Moreover, the effects of flupenthixol on cocaine discrimination and self-administration diminished over time. After only 3 to 5 days of chronic treatment, flupenthixol did not consistently shift the cocaine discrimination dose-effect curve to the right. Similarly, rates of cocaine self-administration that were initially decreased by flupenthixol often recovered partially or completely during a 10-day regimen of chronic flupenthixol treatment. These results suggest that flupenthixol may have limited utility in the long-term treatment of cocaine dependence.