Questions tagged [psychopharmacology]

For questions about the scientific study of the effects of pharmaceutical and general drugs on perception, behavior, mood and cognition.

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Could opiate addictions be treated with esterase inhibitors?

Since heroin is a prodrug (i.e inactive) and must be metabolized into morphine by certain esterase enzymes in order to produce psychoactive effects, would some esterase inhibitors theoretically ...
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Medical treatment for depression

Should depression be treated with excitatory or inhibitory medications? Normally I have seen inhibitory drugs being prescribed for depression, hence my question.
2 votes
1 answer
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Is there good evidence that long-term stimulant usage in children has no harmful effect when stopped?

Essentially, I am looking for an RCT done on children, where they went on a stimulant drug for at least 3 years, and then stopped administering the drug. What I'm worried about is long-term lower ...
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1 answer
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Is it believed that ketamine has less side effects compared to SSRIs?

I was told that recent research shows that ketamine is equally effective to, and not more effective than, SSRIs when used as a regular medication, for example as a nasal spray. However, is it believed ...
1 vote
1 answer
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Why do SSRIs take multiple weeks to reach their full effect?

What is it about SSRIs that they require 2-4 weeks for their long-term effect to become present? Is this the result of small accumulations over time in some aspect of the brain? Are there other ...
2 votes
1 answer
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Why are there substances that give positive psychological effects but become unhealthy addictions?

In a very general way, why is the brain a system that responds euphorically in response to certain stimulants yet over time that substance may be addictive and have negative health effects? What is it ...
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Is there any medication which is molecularly similar to alcohol?

I have found alcohol to have beneficial and desirable effects on me, and I have been exploring the question of why alcohol is not given the same level of pharmaceutical legitimacy as other medicines ...
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Are self-reported depression scores from inpatient facilities used to measure the efficacy of different pharmaceuticals?

In the United States, patients with clinical depression are somtimes hospitalized for sucidal ideation or attempted suicide. It is common practice to prevent patients from discharging themselves from ...
1 vote
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Caffeine modulating substances in coffee

From personal experimentation I know that caffeine affects me differently than coffee. Are there any known caffeine modulating substances found in coffee?
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Are there methods of evaluating the effects of psychoactive drugs that use free-form verbal reports?

If one wished to study the effects of a psychoactive drug such as LSD, what strikes me as a natural primary starting point would be to ask participants what they actually experienced. For example, ...
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What are the pharmacodynamics (Ki nM) of the monoamine neurotransmitters?

Ok, so any psychoactive drug will have different affinities for different receptor types. For instance, sertraline has an extreme affinity for the SERT and very little affinity for the 5-HT1A receptor....
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How does the chemical structure of a drug determine potency?

I'm rather new to neuropharmacology, and I am particularly interested in why some psychotropic medications are more potent than others despite being in the same category of one another, (i.e.: ...
5 votes
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"Reverse Tolerance" Hypothetical

Let me use Caffeine as an example for this question, because it's a classically understood case of drug tolerance. Caffeine is an adenosine antagonist; it works by blocking the adenosine receptors in ...
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What is the size limit of molecules entering the intracellular sections of a neuron?

As voltage sensitive organic dyes enter the inside of neurons and quantum dots are seeking to replace these due to their higher quantum yield, I was wondering what the seize limit is, as quantum dot ...
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Any statistics on the likelihood of, consumption frequencies and dosages required for serotonin syndrome to occur with LSD?

This may be too obscure of a question to have sufficient, if any, statistics on it. If that's the case, any relevant information is appreciated. From what I've gathered, very high doses and/or very ...
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What medication would best treat buspirone induced insomnia?

The anxiolytic buspirone causes insomnia in a small minority of patients. What existent medication would theoretically (or in practice) best treat this insomnia? Buspirone from my understanding is an ...
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6 votes
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Cannot find a journal paper on a study on caffeine, even though it is registered at clinicaltrials.gov

Can somebody help me find the following study: Effects of Low Doses of Caffeine on Mood, Physiology and Mental Function, listed under trial identifier NCT00487227 on ClinicalTrials.gov. It's a very ...
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What is meant by "serotonergic" in "serotonergic psychedelics"

"Serotonergic psychedelics" is apparently a sub-class of psychedelics. Now, I believed that the pharmacological definition of psychedelics is that they all agonise 5HT receptors, especially ...
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Is the oscillatory power inversely proportional to the frequency?

I'm trying to understand neuronal synchronization/desynchronization and oscillation, as well as the psychedelic state. The following sentence confused me a bit. Psilocybin reduced spontaneous ...
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How do psychedelics work? [duplicate]

I realize my question is more of a pharmacological one than a neuroscientific one, but I didn't know where else to ask this question. As far as I've read, there's two components to how psychedelics ...
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How to take advantage of the withdrawal symptoms of antidopaminergics?

So this may be a stupid question as I am not trained in neuroscience or psychology at all, but I had an idea about a somewhat counterintuitive approach to psychotropics and was wondering whether if it ...
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Can anticholinergics like benztropine be used to treat Catatonia?

I found an old paper describing a case study where a catatonic patient was successfully treated with benztropine (Cogentin). However, I can't find any modern guidelines that calls for this treatment (...
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What can happen if a human takes SB-243213?

SB-243213 acts as a selective inverse agonist for the 5-HT2C receptor. The 5-HT2C receptor is one of many 5-HT receptors which are receptors that bind serotonin, and seems to play a major role in ...
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Applying psychoactive drugs locally

I wonder if there are approaches to apply psychoactive drugs (more) locally, e.g. by drug carriers. Usually psychoactive drugs are taken orally/enterally and thus flood the brain unspecifically: each ...
2 votes
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Predicting the individual effects of psychotropic drugs

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/23796468/ I have searched the national library of medicine but I could not find any papers about predicting both the therapeutic and adverse effects on the ...
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How can we eliminate the effect of psychiatric medication on neuropsychological research with schizophrenic patients?

It is delicate to conduct studies with schizophrenic patients, considering that the results may be altered by the medication factor. What strategies should be used to counteract this effect?
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Triptans and SSRIs

When talking about triptans used for migraines such as Zolimitriptan, such drugs are selective serotonin receptor agonists. SSRIs, as their function states, are Selective Serotonin Reuptake ...
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3 votes
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When the DEA says a drug is X times more potent than another, what do they mean?

E.g. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 80-100 times stronger than morphine. What does that refer to? According to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Potency_(pharmacology): The IUPHAR has ...
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1 answer
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Are there ways to accelerate the recovery from depression via novel pharmacological antidepressants?

Are there any scientists making substantial progress in the development of far more effective antidepressants? Are there any groups of people interested in developing antidepressants based on genetic ...
2 votes
1 answer
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Ritalin for treating attention and lack of focus in depression

I’d like to know if there’s research about the use of ritalin for treating attention deficit in Major Depression Disorder.
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Is there any empirical support to "chemical imbalance theory" for mental illness?

Has it been proved by measurement of chemicals in the brain that psychiatric disorders have either their origin or continuance due to chemical imbalance in the brain? I saw the documentary Diagnostic &...
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1 answer
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How to test whether THC or CBD gives a mental boost?

Studies have shown significant reduction in seizures in babies to adults when taking marijuana. I would call that amazing but what does it do in improving cognitive abilities in normal people? ...
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Are neural adaptation and drug tolerance to psychoactive drugs related?

Neural adaptation is "...a change over time in the responsiveness of the sensory system to a constant stimulus". The example given is placing your hand on the surface of a table. Eventually, you no ...
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Can drugs support emotional developement in personality disorders?

Some personality disorders are associated with a degree of emotional blindness or coldness with narcissistic PD being such an example. I wonder whether there are drugs that - in addition to ...
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Why does venlafaxine have lower incidence of sexual dysfunctions at higher doses?

Venlafaxine at low dosages strongly inhibits serotonin, at moderate dosages also norepinephrine and only high dosages it also inhibits dopamine. The ratio is the following. serotonin : ...
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Unknown unit/mL

In the book Kaplan and Sadock's synopsis of psychiatry: Clozapine. Clozapine (Clozaril) levels are trough levels determined in the morning before administration of the morning dose of medication. ...
3 votes
1 answer
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How does caffeine work as an analgesic adjuvant?

Caffeine is used an adjuvant in over-the-couner pain medication, e.g. added to paracetamol and/or aspirin. A brief look at the Wikipedia page on caffeine doesn't indicate any analgesic effect of ...
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5 votes
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How addictive is Heroine?

I keep hearing that "*Heroine is so addictive the very first dose is enough to get you hooked on it*". Personally, I have a hard time believing any substance could do that to you. But I could believe ...
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Study purportedly proving psychedelics induce a "heightened state of consciousness"

The Guardian headlines on 28 Nov 2017: "Psychedelic drugs induce 'heightened state of consciousness', brain scans show". Healthy volunteers who received LSD, ketamine or psilocybin, a ...
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2 votes
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Caffeine any-dose tolerance study

Lifehacker says: A 1995 study suggests that humans become tolerant to their daily dose of caffeine—whether a single soda or a serious espresso habit—somewhere between a week and 12 days. They don'...
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2 votes
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Can tapering reduce the risk of sedative kindling and brain damage?

So we know that repeated withdrawal from GABAeric substances like alcohol and benzodiazepines will cause kindling and worsen future withdrawal symptoms. Also, it appears that withdrawal from alcohol ...
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What genetic polymorphisms are linked to aggression or violence?

Anecdotally, there are reports of varenicline causing agression, but larger studies tended towards the finding of no effect over controls. This got me into thinking about possible genetic ...
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experimental tracking and treating bipolar disorder

Is there a way to measure what neurotransmitters (and in what amount) are present in a person via blood or other method? I feel like if such information was available there could be experiments ...
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1 answer
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Stroke amelioration

Excessive sugar, like Pepsi, is considered harmful. However, I am wondering if it could be helpful if taken by a victim of stroke during or immediately after a stroke, or somewhat after a stroke? My ...
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Polypharmacy involving sumatriptan, tramadol and serotoninergic antidepressants and risk of serotonin syndrome [closed]

Let us consider the following clinical vignette: A 61 y/o male presents complaining of migraines on the order of 2 or 3 times a month. When he gets them, the only thing that helps to mitigate them is ...
2 votes
2 answers
4k views

Can you get addicted from using topical or local anaesthetics to ease pain?

I've been wondering if there was such a thing as developing some kind of physical or psychological dependence on things that relieve pain. While we often hear about opioid addiction, which is ...
3 votes
1 answer
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Do hallucinogenics affect chronic pain?

As noted in a previous question, hallucinogenics, such as psilocybin, have been used to treat depression with some success. Chronic pain is affected somewhat by a top-down process from the brain, as ...
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Are many anticonvulsants just coincidentally also psychoactive?

Many of the antiseizure I'm aware of are described as having the potential for behavior altering side-effects. I am curious about this. Is there something about the chemistry of the brain that ...
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How to counteract the deterioration of speech in stutterers by targeting sympathetic arousal?

I am quoting a good overview from a Quora member about the reasons why people stutter when exposed to stress: ...The underlying physiological basis of why stress provokes stuttering has been ...
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Do antipsychotics have a delayed onset of action similar to (monoamine) antidepressants?

I've been trying to understand the position of Steve Hyman (a former NIMH director), who has been amply quoted in an recent article in Quartz, saying among ohter things that There’s not “an iota of ...
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