FDA approves anti-obesity drug that reduces serotonin?

DavePsych1 davepsych1 at aol.com
Fri Feb 2 05:06:09 EST 1996


In article <mkirby-0102960015290001 at as2511-25.sl006.cns.vt.edu>,
mkirby at vt.edu (Michael L. Kirby) writes:

>Yes, I would guess that also.  Antidepressants that act upon serotonergic
>systems (such as fluoxetine [Prozac]) are 5-HT uptake blockers.  This
>tends to enhance serotonergic tone by increasing synaptic serotonin.  In
>what way does this drug 'reduce' serotonin?  Does it act as a receptor
>blocker or an enzyme inhibitor?  I'm curious, too.
>
>

The drug is called fenfluramine, and it acts by increasing rather than
decreasing serotonin (I believe by stimulating the release of 5-HT instead
of blocking its reuptake like the SSRI's).  The controversial aspect of
this drug is that it can produce similar changes in serotonin axon
terminals to the drug Ecstasy (MDMA), which may be considered "damage"
although no behavioral sequelae have been found (at least, not yet).  So
although it's possible that the drug could lower serotonin transmission in
the long-term (and maybe only in high doses--I'm not sure), its immediate
therapeutic benefits are derived from enhancement of serotonin levels.



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