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A schematic representation of the psychopharmacological profile of antidepressants.

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  • 1GIS Medicament, Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine, Nantes, France.


1. Using simple animal tests, "behavioural" and "biochemical" aspects of depression, anxiolysis, disinhibition, psychostimulation and sedation were investigated in mice using a variety of antidepressant drugs. 2. Dothiepin and mianserin (16 and 32 mg/kg), fluoxetine (32 and 64 mg/kg), maprotiline and imipramine (16, 32 and 64 mg/kg) and viloxazine (16 mg/kg) significantly potentiated mortality following acute administration with yohimbine. 3. Dothiepin and imipramine (32 mg/kg), fluoxetine (16 and 32 mg/kg), viloxazine (8 and 16 mg/kg), maprotiline (32 mg/kg) and mianserin (32 mg/kg) reduced immobility time in the forced swimming test. 4. In the black and white box, dothiepin (32 mg/kg) significantly increased the time spent in the bright compartment: Fluoxetine (8 and 16 mg/kg) significantly increased the number of crossings between compartments, an effect indicative of desinhibition. 5. It can be concluded that dothiepin possesses both antidepressant and anxiolytic properties in these animal models. The present procedure is useful not only for the screening of compounds that may possess antidepressant properties, but is also of value in determining other properties that may contribute to the overall clinical efficacy of the drugs.

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