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Biomol Ther (Seoul). 2013 Jul 30;21(4):307-12. doi: 10.4062/biomolther.2013.035.

Dependence potential of quetiapine: behavioral pharmacology in rodents.

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  • 1Pharmacological Research Division, Toxicological Evaluation and Research Department, National Institute of Food and Drug Safety Evaluation, Ministry of Food and Drug Safety, Chungwon 363-700, Republic of Korea.


Quetiapine is an atypical or second-generation antipsychotic agent and has been a subject of a series of case report and suggested to have the potential for misuse or abuse. However, it is not a controlled substance and is not generally considered addictive. In this study, we examined quetiapine's dependence potential and abuse liability through animal behavioral tests using rodents to study the mechanism of quetiapine. Molecular biology techniques were also used to find out the action mechanisms of the drug. In the animal behavioral tests, quetiapine did not show any positive effect on the experimental animals in the climbing, jumping, and conditioned place preference tests. However, in the head twitch and self-administration tests, the experimental animals showed significant positive responses. In addition, the action mechanism of quetiapine was found being related to dopamine and serotonin release. These results demonstrate that quetiapine affects the neurological systems related to abuse liability and has the potential to lead psychological dependence, as well.


Animal behavioral tests; Dopamine system; Drug dependence; Quetiapine; Serotonin system

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