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J Psychopharmacol. 2013 Apr;27(4):396-400. doi: 10.1177/0269881113478281. Epub 2013 Feb 20.

Comparison of the anti-dopamine D₂ and anti-serotonin 5-HT(2A) activities of chlorpromazine, bromperidol, haloperidol and second-generation antipsychotics parent compounds and metabolites thereof.

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Department of Psychiatry, Tanzawa Hospital, Kanagawa, Japan.


Second-generation antipsychotics, which have become the standard drug therapies for schizophrenia, are known to have a serotonin 5-HT(2A) receptor blocking effect in addition to a dopamine D₂ receptor blocking effect. However, although chlorpromazine (CPZ) has a 5-HT(2A) receptor blocking effect and has the profile of a second-generation antipsychotic in vitro, it loses this pharmacological profile in vivo. In order to elucidate the differences between the in vivo and in vitro pharmacological characteristics of CPZ, we used a radioreceptor assay to measure the anti-D₂ activity and the anti-5-HT(2A) activity of CPZ and five major metabolites of CPZ, and compared the results to the anti-D₂ activity and anti-5-HT(2A) activity of risperidone, zotepine, perospirone, the major metabolites of each of these drugs, and olanzapine, bromperidol, and haloperidol. The subjects were 182 patients who had received diagnoses of schizophrenia based on the DSM-IV criteria. The results revealed that CPZ exhibited little anti-5-HT(2A) activity, regardless of the anti-D₂ activity level, and that none of the metabolites possessed anti-5-HT(2A) activity. However, both the parent compounds and the metabolites of each of the second-generation antipsychotics possessed both anti-D₂ activity and anti-5-HT(2A) activity. This clarified that, unlike second-generation antipsychotics, the reason CPZ loses its second-generation antipsychotic profiles in vivo is because it does not have any metabolites that possess anti-5-HT(2A) activity.

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