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Life Sci. 1993;52(18):PL187-92.

Time course of brain serotonin metabolism after cessation of long-term fluoxetine treatment in the rat.

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Fac. Pharmacie, Lab. Pharmacol, Catenay-Malabry, France.


The effects of repeated fluoxetine (Flx) administration (5, 10, or 15 mg/kg i.p., twice daily for 21 days) on serotonin and 5-HIAA metabolism were examined in the hypothalamus, hippocampus, pons medulla and cerebral cortex of rats killed 1-28 days after the last dose. Dose-dependent weight loss was observed during treatment, followed by gradual and complete recovery of body weight over the following two weeks. Chronic Flx treatment caused a dose-dependent decrease in brain 5-HT levels (by between 10 and 50% depending on the region examined), lasting for 3-7 days after cessation of treatment with the lowest and intermediate doses, and for 7-14 days after cessation of the highest dose. 5-HIAA levels decreased more markedly (-20; -60% depending on the region examined) than those of 5-HT, and tended to overshoot during the recovery period. The prolonged reduction in brain 5-HT levels after chronic Flx treatment was similar to that seen in rats given very high doses of dexfenfluramine (d-fen), a drug which both blocks 5-HT uptake and increases its release. These data suggest that brain 5-HT and 5-HIAA depletion may reflect similar dose-related expressions of the drug's mechanisms of action.

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