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Psychopharmacology

, Volume 177, Issue 3, pp 344–348 | Cite as

Atypical antipsychotic profile of flunarizine in animal models

  • Adriano B. L. Tort
  • Oscar P. Dall’Igna
  • Ricardo V. de Oliveira
  • Carlos E. A. Mantese
  • Paulo Fett
  • Márcio W. S. Gomes
  • Juliana Schuh
  • Diogo O. Souza
  • Diogo R. Lara
Original Investigation

Abstract

Rationale

Flunarizine is known as a calcium channel blocker commonly used in many countries to treat migraine and vertigo. Parkinsonism has been described as one of its side-effects in the elderly, which is in agreement with its recently characterized moderate D2 receptor antagonism.

Objectives

To perform a pre-clinical evaluation of flunarizine as a potential antipsychotic.

Methods

We evaluated the action of orally administered flunarizine in mice against hyperlocomotion induced by amphetamine and dizocilpine (MK-801) as pharmacological models of schizophrenia, induction of catalepsy as a measure for extrapyramidal symptoms and impairment induced by dizocilpine on the delayed alternation task for working memory.

Results

Flunarizine robustly inhibited hyperlocomotion induced by both amphetamine and dizocilpine at doses that do not reduce spontaneous locomotion (3–30 mg/kg). Mild catalepsy was observed at 30 mg/kg, being more pronounced at 50 mg/kg and 100 mg/kg. Flunarizine (30 mg/kg) improved dizocilpine-induced impairment on the delayed alternation test.

Conclusions

These results suggest a profile comparable to atypical antipsychotics. The low cost, good tolerability and long half-life (over 2 weeks) of flunarizine are possible advantages for its use as an atypical antipsychotic. These results warrant clinical trials with flunarizine for the treatment of schizophrenia.

Keywords

Flunarizine Amphetamine Dizocilpine Locomotion Antipsychotic Schizophrenia 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This work was supported by grants of CNPq and CAPES.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Adriano B. L. Tort
    • 1
  • Oscar P. Dall’Igna
    • 1
  • Ricardo V. de Oliveira
    • 1
  • Carlos E. A. Mantese
    • 1
  • Paulo Fett
    • 1
  • Márcio W. S. Gomes
    • 1
  • Juliana Schuh
    • 1
  • Diogo O. Souza
    • 1
  • Diogo R. Lara
    • 2
  1. 1.Departamento de Bioquímica, ICBSUFRGSPorto AlegreBrazil
  2. 2.Faculdade de BiociênciasPUCRSPorto AlegreBrazil

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