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Psychopharmacology (Berl). 1992;108(3):313-9.

Dose-response relationship for oral idazoxan effects in healthy human subjects: comparison with oral yohimbine.

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  • 1VA-Yale Alcoholism Research Center, West Haven, CT 06516.


The effects of oral administration of the alpha 2 adrenergic receptor antagonists idazoxan (20 mg, 40 mg, 80 mg) and yohimbine (20 mg) were compared using a placebo-controlled within-subjects design. Healthy subjects completed 5 test days during which medication effects on mood and anxiety states, physiologic indices, plasma cortisol levels, and plasma levels of the norepinephrine metabolite 3-methoxy-4-hydroxy-phenylethylene glycol (MHPG) were assessed. Idazoxan dose-dependently increased plasma MHPG, plasma cortisol, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, and Panic Attack Symptom Scale scores in healthy subjects. Overall, yohimbine and idazoxan produced a similar pattern of behavioral and neuroendocrine responses. Since idazoxan possesses relatively greater receptor specificity compared to yohimbine, it may be a more useful alpha 2 antagonist in humans.

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