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Expert Opin Investig Drugs. 2007 Jun;16(6):771-5.

Aripiprazole acts as a selective dopamine D2 receptor partial agonist.

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GlaxoSmithKline, Schizophrenia and Bipolar Neurophysiology and Pharmacology, Psychiatry CEDD, Harlow, Essex, UK.


Aripiprazole has made a significant contribution to the treatment of schizophrenia and related disorders with an improved safety and tolerability profile, which has been attributed to its unique pharmacological profile. It has been claimed that partial agonism of the dopamine D(2) and 5-HT(1A) receptors and antagonism of the 5-HT(2) receptor contribute to the clinical profile of aripiprazole, a so-called dopamine- and 5-HT stabiliser. However, recent studies have questioned the role of the 5-HT-mediated systems in the mechanism of action of aripiprazole. This report reviews published and unpublished data that suggest that aripiprazole acts as a selective partial agonist at the dopamine D(2) receptor and does not affect 5-HT receptors at therapeutic doses.

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