Psychopharmacology

, Volume 111, Issue 1, pp 123–126 | Cite as

Roxindole, a dopamine autoreceptor agonist, in the treatment of major depression

  • G. Gründer
  • H. Wetzel
  • E. Hammes
  • O. Benkert
Rapid Communications

Abstract

Roxindole is a potent autoreceptor-“selective” dopamine agonist originally developed for the treatment of schizophrenic syndromes. The drug also inhibits 5-HT uptake and has 5-HT1A agonistic actions. In this open clinical trial 12 in-patients suffering from a major depressive episode (DSM-III-R) were treated with roxindole for 28 days in a fixed dosage of 15 mg per day. A reduction of at least 50% in HAMD-17 total scores was observed in 8 out of 12 patients after 4 weeks (mean HAMD-17 reduction of 56% in all patients), while 4 patients did not respond to roxindole treatment. Half of the patients showed a complete psychopathological remission (HAMD-17 <8). Roxindole's onset of antidepressant action was remarkably rapid. Seven out of eight responders improved within the first 2 weeks of treatment (at least 50% decrease in HAMD-17 total score), and four patients were nearly asymptomatic within 1 week. Our results indicate that roxindole may possess potent antidepressant properties and that its efficacy should be further evaluated by double-blind controlled studies against reference drugs.

Key words

Roxindole Dopamine autoreceptor agonist Dopamine Depression Prolactin 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Arnt J, Hyttel J (1984) Postsynaptic dopamine agonistic effects of 3-PPP enantiomers revealed by bilateral 6-hydroxydopamine lesions and by chronic reserpine treatment in rats. J Neural Transm 60:205–223Google Scholar
  2. Benkert O, Holsboer F (1984) Effect of sulpiride in endogenous depression. Acta Psychiatr Scand 69 [Suppl 311]:43–48Google Scholar
  3. Carlsson A (1988) The current status of the dopamine hypothesis of schizophrenia. Neuropsychopharmacology 1:179–186Google Scholar
  4. Jimerson DC (1987) Role of dopamine mechanisms in the affective disorders. In: Meltzer HY (ed) Psychopharmacology. The third generation of progress. Raven Press, New York, pp 505–511Google Scholar
  5. Liebowitz MR, Quitkin FM, Stewart JW, McGrath PJ, Harrison WM, Markowitz JS, Rabkin JG, Tricamo E, Goetz DM, Klein DF (1988) Antidepressant specifity in atypical depression. Arch Gen Psychiatry 45:129–139Google Scholar
  6. Post RM, Gerner RH, Carman JS, Gillin JC, Jimerson DC, Goodwin FK, Bunney WE (1978) Effects of a dopamine agonist piribedil in depressed patients. Arch Gen Psychiatry 35:609–615Google Scholar
  7. Roth RH, Wolf ME, Deutch AY (1987) Neurochemistry of midbrain dopamine systems. In: Meltzer HY (ed) Psychopharmacology. The third generation of progress. Raven Press, New York, pp 81–94Google Scholar
  8. Seyfried CA, Greiner HE, Haase AF (1989) Biochemical and functional studies on EMD 49980: a potent, selectively presynaptic D-2 dopamine agonist with actions on serotonin systems. Eur J Pharmacol 160:31–41Google Scholar
  9. Waehrens J, Gerlach J (1981) Bromocryptine and imipramine in endogenous depression: a double-blind controlled trial in out-patients. J Affect Disord 3:193–202Google Scholar
  10. Wetzel H, Benkert O (1992) Dopamine autoreceptor agonists in the treatment of schizophrenic disorders. Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry (in press)Google Scholar
  11. Wetzel H, Hillert A, Gründer G, Benkert O (1992) Roxindole, a dopamine autoreceptor agonist, in the treatment of positive and negative schizophrenia. Am J Psychiatry (in press)Google Scholar
  12. Wiedemann K, Benkert O, Holsboer F (1990) B-HT 920—a novel dopamine autoreceptor agonist in the treatment of patients with schizophrenia. Pharmacopsychiatry 23:50–55Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. Gründer
    • 1
  • H. Wetzel
    • 1
  • E. Hammes
    • 1
  • O. Benkert
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of MainzMainzFederal Republic of Germany

Personalised recommendations