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Questions tagged [psychopharmacology]

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

46
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1answer
4k views

Does caffeine improve performance for habituated consumers?

I've seen a fair few studies over the while that suggest caffeine increases arousal in the short term and that for some tasks, this will also increase performance (there's a few citations here). ...
12
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4answers
12k views

How to temporarily induce low latent inhibition?

As the Wikipedia article says, High levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine (or its agonists) in the ventral tegmental area of the brain have been shown to decrease latent inhibition. Certain ...
12
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3answers
198 views

Are there any pragmatic uses of hallucinogens?

Hallucinogens (psilocybin, LSD and others) are often regarded as risky substances, therefore they are banned in most places. Are there ways of using these substances that can be beneficial? Or in ...
12
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2answers
3k views

Can SSRI make things worse in the long term or cause delayed depression?

I found two articles that mention that taking SSRI for depression can actually make the depression worse. "Now Antidepressant-Induced Chronic Depression Has a Name: Tardive Dysphoria" on Psychology ...
11
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3answers
1k views

Neurotransmitter based imaging techniques

All the brain imaging techniques I know fall into two categories: Tracking blood Either by looking at the magnetic (fMRI), or near-infared absorption (diffuse optical imaging, NIRS) properties of ...
10
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1answer
500 views

Cognitive explanation of why beta blockers are effective for anxiety

Beta blockers essentially reduce physical effects of anxiety and panic disorder, but there is no proof that there is a direct effect on anxiety. Some scientists believe there is an indirect effect. ...
8
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1answer
126 views

What is the Mechanism of 5-HT2A-mediated psychedelia?

Drugs that activate the serotonergic 5-HT2A receptor (e.g. LSD, psilocybin, mescaline) are notorious for causing psychedelic experiences and I would like to know the neurochemical mechanism behind ...
7
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1answer
279 views

Is it dangerous to take an antipsychotic drug irregularly?

I've read the case of Witty Ticcy Ray: a 24 years old man with disabling Tourette’s syndrome. The first Dr. Sacks's treatment, with Haldol, provokes a strong change in Ray's behavior: from tics and ...
7
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1answer
103 views

Psilocybin for treatment of anxiety disorder

Has psilocybin been used for treatment of anxiety disorder? I've mostly found it used in the treatment of anxiety in patients diagnosed with cancer (Nichols et al. 2017) and patients not diagnosed ...
7
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1answer
53 views

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 ...
6
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1answer
211 views

Can hallucinogens treat depressive states?

Given the serotonin hypothesis of depression, increasing synaptic serotonin level may cause anti-depressive effects. Hallucinogens seems to have such advantages: They improve mood at once, but not ...
6
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1answer
294 views

Why does marijuana cause anxiety?

Marijuana is getting increasingly used in medical settings. However, one of its disadvantages is anxiety. Does anyone know the reason behind the anxiety? Is it from the marijuana itself, or does it ...
6
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1answer
148 views

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 ...
5
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2answers
129 views

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 ...
5
votes
2answers
302 views

Can LSD connect sensory regions in the brain?

How is it possible that after using LSD you can hear sounds and see colours? I have my own experience with this phenomenon. When I´m lying totally relaxed in bed and suddenly a door is closed loudly,...
5
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2answers
174 views

Is there a less colloquial term for the phenomenon known as “brain zaps”?

There is an unpleasant phenomenon, colloquially known as "brain zaps". It is generally associated with withdrawal from antidepressants, but this isn't always the trigger - I sometimes have it even ...
5
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1answer
132 views

Would administering oxytocin in games of deception improve performance?

As well as facilitating parturition, the hormone oxytocin is thought to mediate "prosocial behaviour" in mammals. It’s been a while since I have read the literature, but I am aware there is robust ...
5
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1answer
251 views

Is tianeptine addictive?

A recent (2014) study in cell cultures has found that tianeptine is a mu-opioid receptor (MOR) agonist (and [mentioning for completeness] delta opioid receptor agonist as well, albeit weaker). It's ...
5
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1answer
506 views

With the brain's propensity for homeostasis, how can some drugs be labelled addictive and others not?

The human body is always striving for homeostasis. One of the purposes of the brain is to maintain homeostasis, but also the brain needs to maintain homeostasis within itself. Ergo: Given the use of ...
5
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2answers
93 views

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 ...
5
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0answers
100 views

Evidence of cannabis exposure causing schizophrenia?

I've heard that cannabis exposure during teenage years increases the probability of developing schizophrenia-like symptoms later in life. What evidence is there that this is causal and not ...
4
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3answers
229 views

Are there any circumstances where schizophrenia or bipolar disorder are not lifelong?

It is known that psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia and bipolar I, and bipolar II are for life, and require long term treatment (lifelong). Is this always the case? The answer could include ...
4
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1answer
498 views

How much sleep is needed for peak cognitive performance?

How much sleep is needed for peak cognitive performance? If some were to, for example, wake up one morning at 12:30PM, would a sleeping pill help obtain better sleep required for that performance the ...
4
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2answers
143 views

What is the effectiveness of self-prescribed marijuana for depression?

How common is it for patients diagnosed with depression to self-prescribe themselves marijuana after trying prescription anti-depressants? Is there any evidence that this self-treatment is effective ...
4
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2answers
744 views

Can drugs cause positive reinforcement for undesirable tasks?

For this example, I will use alcohol as an example drug, since it's legal and increases dopamine. Can drinking alcohol when performing unpleasant tasks, such as homework, cleaning, or laundry confuse ...
4
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0answers
123 views

Influence of antidepressant drugs upon personality

How do antidepressant drugs influence someone's personality? Do they induce a major change in an individual's personality, or do they just negate the influence of depression? Basically, is the ...
4
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2answers
58 views

How should medication for the treatment of ADHD symptoms be calibrated?

My understanding is that the treatment of ADHD symptoms with stimulant medication is a balancing act between alleviating ADHD symptoms, and not producing unwanted side effects like insomnia or anxiety....
3
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2answers
827 views

Do stimulants increase the IQ tests score for everyone?

There is some meta-analytic evidence that stimulants increase the IQ test scores of ADHD children by 2 to 7 points (Jepsen et al., 2009). Although giving stimulants to non-ADHD children may be ...
3
votes
1answer
3k views

Can the neuronal firing rate be increased through medication/diet?

My rudimentary understanding of the neuronal firing rate is that it varies person to person, and neuron to neuron. So any specific number for a firing rate would be specific to the test subject and ...
3
votes
1answer
80 views

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 ...
3
votes
1answer
31 views

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 ...
3
votes
1answer
130 views

Can drugs cause a psychosis, or only unlock it?

There have been many reports, that recreational drug use can cause psychosis. Some cannabis users report experiencing psychosis (sometimes permanent) immediately after use. Some methamphetamine users ...
3
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1answer
111 views

Is it possible to develop immunity to mental health drugs?

After watching The Princess Bride, I discovered this word: Mithridatism, "the practice of protecting oneself against a poison by gradually self-administering non-lethal amounts." Is it possible for ...
3
votes
1answer
22 views

Dopamine dysregulation syndrome in non-Parkison's subjects?

I realize that giving L-dopa or similar drugs to people who don't need it would be unethical owing to their side effects*, but given that L-dopa is abused by some Parkinson's disease patients, are ...
3
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1answer
62 views

What is the difference between flow and cannabis induced high?

I am doing research on flow. So far I found out that flow is a short-term positive peak experience, but not a persistent state of mind. I wonder, what is the difference between flow and cannabis ...
3
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1answer
100 views

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 ...
3
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0answers
75 views

Interaction between caffeine intake and biorhythm on alertness

Throughout the day, people's wakefulness and attentiveness varies, as modulated by one's circadian biorhythm. Whereas in the morning people are less awake, just before noon and around 15:00 people ...
3
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0answers
137 views

What happens inside our body, when we experience betrayal and infidelity?

I guess many of us have experienced it. The moment that you understand that "the person you love, in whom you've trusted, is now with someone else, enjoying every moment with him/her". It's so ...
2
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1answer
791 views

LSD and tryptamines harmless or neurotoxic? [closed]

It's commonly stated by numerous people that LSD and trytamines like DMT and psilocin are physically harmless and not neurotoxic. Is there evidence for this? I recently read 5-meo-Dipt which is a ...
2
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2answers
890 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 ...
2
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1answer
40 views

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. ...
2
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1answer
41 views

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 ...
2
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1answer
23 views

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 ...
2
votes
1answer
206 views

Why can some drugs make us hallucinate and think the hallucinations are reality?

The question above mainly applies to dramamine. I've only taken 1 tablet for carsickness, but I have read about experiences with that drug. I'm including other drugs that can make you hallucinate and ...
2
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0answers
46 views

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 compound ...
2
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0answers
48 views

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'...
2
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0answers
104 views

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 ...
2
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0answers
159 views

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 ...
2
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0answers
126 views

What is a short, drug-induced “blackout” experience called? [closed]

I know of anecdotal evidence for the following drug-related side-effects: It can happen while getting used to a new drug, or when quitting a drug. Probably also some other situations. The feeling ...
1
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4answers
332 views

Why is depression a diagnosable issue?

To me, it seems strange that something such as depression, which anyone can feel at any given time, is diagnosed and treated medically as if it is a mental disorder. I believe depression should be ...