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Antipsychotic drugs. CNS drugs. Functionally, the CNS is the most complex part of the body, and understanding drug effects is difficult Understanding the effects of drugs on individual neurons does not predict the effect on the whole organ

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Antipsychotic drugs

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cns drugs
CNS drugs
  • Functionally, the CNS is the most complex part of the body, and understanding drug effects is difficult
  • Understanding the effects of drugs on individual neurons does not predict the effect on the whole organ
  • In part this is due to complex interactions mediated by different neurotransmitters
  • Important neurotransmitter
  • Present mainly in the nigrostriatal, mesolimbic and tubero-infundibular pathways
  • Originally there were only thought to be two main groups of dopamine receptor: D1 and D2 . These stimulate and inhibit adenylate cyclase respectively
  • Subsequently D3 (related to D1) and D4 (related to D2 ) receptors were discovered
  • D2 receptors are mainly responsible for the actions of anti-psychotic drugs
dopamine functions
Dopamine functions
  • Motor control - nigrostriatal system
    • Deficiency results in rigidity, tremor and difficulty initiating movement
  • Behavioural effects - mesolimbic system
    • Overactivity in rats leads to abnormal behavior
  • Endocrine control - tubero-infundibular system
    • Dopamine and dopamine agonists suppress prolactin release, dopamine antagonists may stimulate it
schizophrenia dopamine
Schizophrenia - dopamine
  • Amphetamine (which releases dopamine) can produce a syndrome similar to the ‘positive’ features of schizophrenia
  • Levodopa may aggravate the condition
  • Apomorphine and bromocriptine (D2 agonists) produce behavioral abnormalities in animals
  • D2 receptor antagonists are effective in controlling the positive features of the disorder
  • ? Increased D2 receptor binding in the brains of schizophrenic subjects. Evidence of genetic variation in the D4 receptor to which some anti-psychotic drugs have high affinity
schizophrenia serotonin
Schizophrenia - serotonin
  • LSD which has mixed agonist/antagonist serotonergic actions produces hallucinations and behavioral disturbance
  • Some antipsychotic drugs also act at 5-HT receptors (antagonists of 5HT2)
  • 5-HT has a modulatory effect on dopaminergic neurones
modes of action
Modes of action
  • All anti-psychotic drugs have inhibitory effects on the D2 receptor
  • Some have actions against the D4 receptor
  • All have other effects - to varying degrees
    • Serotonin 5HT2 blockade (may improve negative symptoms)
    • Histamine H1 blockade (drowsiness)
    • Alpha adrenoceptor blockade (postural hypotension)
how do we know they work
How do we know they work?
  • Mostly “ by accident” for early drugs
    • designing drugs to reduce anxiety in surgical patients
  • Clinical experience
  • Clinical trials
    • especially more recent drugs
  • PET scanning showing blockade of central D2 receptors
clinical effects
Clinical effects
  • Control the ‘positive’ features of the disease, but little effect on the ‘negative’ features
    • clozapine may be superior in this regard
  • The main side-effects are on the extrapyramidal motor system
    • Akathisia (hours)
    • Dystonias (hours to days)
    • Parkinsonism (weeks to months)
      • rigidity, tremor, and loss of mobility
    • Tardive dyskinesia (months to years)
      • Repetitive abnormal movements of face and upper limbs
      • Thought to be due to proliferation of D2 receptors in the striatum
clinical effects11
Clinical effects
  • Newer ‘atypical’ anti-psychotic drugs are less inclined to produce these effects - possible due to their greater affinity for the mesolimbic over the striatal areas of the brain
other effects
Other effects
  • Some are effective anti-emetics
  • Anti-muscarinic effects lead to dry mouth, blurred vision, difficulty with micturition
  • a antagonist effects lead to postural hypotension
  • Antihistamine effects (H1 receptor) lead to drowsiness
  • Prolactin stimulation may lead to breast development
  • Agranulocytosis is fairly common with an ‘atypical’ drug – clozapine which can also cause a myocarditis
  • ‘Neuroleptic malignant syndrome’ is a rare but serious effect leading to extrapyramidal rigidity, autonomic instability and hyperthermia
traditional antipsychotics
Traditional Antipsychotics
  • Phenothiazines
    • chlorpromazine (Chlorpromazine Mixture, Chlorpromazine Mixture Forte, Largactil)
    • fluphenazine (Anatensol, Modecate)
    • flupenthixol (Fluanxol)
    • pericyazine (Neulactil)
    • pimozide (Orap)
    • thioridazine (Aldazine)
    • trifluoperazine (Stelazine)
    • zuclopenthixol (Clopixol)
  • Butyrophenones
    • droperidol (Droleptan Injection)
    • haloperidol (Haldol, Serenace)
newer antipsychotics
Newer Antipsychotics
  • Atypical agents
    • aripiprazole (Abilify)
    • clozapine (CloSyn, Clopine, Clozaril)
    • risperidone (Risperdal)
    • quetiapine (Seroquel)
    • amisulpride (Solian)
    • olanzapine (Zyprexa)
differences among antipsychotic drugs
Differences among Antipsychotic Drugs
  • Chlorpromazine: α1 = 5-HT2 > D2 > D1
  • Haloperidol: D2 > D1 = D4 > α1 > 5-HT2
  • Clozapine: D4 = α1 > 5-HT2 > D2 = D1
atypical antipsychotics
Atypical antipsychotics
  • Claims
    • lower doses
    • reduced side effects
    • more effective (especially negative symptoms)
    • better compliance
  • Evidence?
    • trials have been quite small and involved patients previously heavily treated and somewhat ‘resistant’
    • trials have tended to show equivalent efficacy and better side effect profiles with newer drugs
    • head to head trials claimed superiority of olanzapine over risperidone (but company sponsored and controversial); some “parallel publications”
  • Costs
    • Much higher with new drugs (10-40 times higher)
insulin resistance
Insulin resistance
  • Prediabetes (impaired fasting glycaemia) has ~ 10% chance / year of converting to Type 2 diabetes
  • Prediabetes plus olanzapine has a 6-fold increased risk of conversion
  • If olanzapine is stopped 70% will revert back to prediabetes
stroke in the elderly
Stroke in the elderly
  • Risperidone and olanzapine associated with increased risk of stroke when used for behavioural control in dementia
  • Risperidone 3.3% vs 1.2% for placebo
  • Olanzapine 1.3% vs 0.4% for placebo
  • However, large observational database studies
    • Show no increased risk of stroke compared with typical antipsychotics or untreated dementia patients
  • Atypical antipsychotics have serotonin blocking effects as well as dopamine blockade
  • As a group have less chance of extrapyramidal side effects
  • Most have weight gain and insulin resistance as a side effect (except perhaps aripiprazole and maybe amisulpride)
  • May be associated with stroke when used for behavioural control in dementia
  • Many have idiosyncratic toxicities
differences among antipsychotic drugs28
Differences among Antipsychotic Drugs
  • All effective antipsychotic drugs block D2 receptors
  • Chlorpromazine and thioridazine
    • block α1 adrenoceptors more potently than D2 receptors
    • block serotonin 5-HT2 receptors relatively strongly
    • affinity for D1 receptors is relatively weak
  • Haloperidol
    • acts mainly on D2 receptors
    • some effect on 5-HT2 and α1 receptors
    • negligible effects on D1 receptors
  • Pimozide and amisulpride†
    • act almost exclusively on D2 receptors
differences among antipsychotic drugs29
Differences among Antipsychotic Drugs
  • Clozapine
    • binds more to D4, 5-HT2, α1, and histamine H1 receptors than to either D2 or D1 receptors
  • Risperidone
    • about equally potent in blocking D2 and 5-HT2 receptors
  • Olanzapine
    • more potent as an antagonist of 5-HT2 receptors
    • lesser potency at D1, D2, and α1 receptors
  • Quetiapine
    • lower-potency compound with relatively similar antagonism of 5-HT2, D2, α1, and α2 receptors
differences among antipsychotic drugs30
Differences among Antipsychotic Drugs
  • Clozapine, olanzapine and quetiapine
    • potent inhibitors of H1 histamine receptors
    • consistent with their sedative properties
  • Aripiprazole
    • partial agonist effects at D2 and 5-HT1A receptors