Abstract It has been suggested that depression is a disease of cholinergic dominance and since the beta-adrenergic blocking drug propranolol hydrochloride can cause depression, there arises the possibility that a beta-adrenergic stimulant could benefit the condition. For ethical reasons, the adrenergic drug metaproterenol sulfate was combined with chlordiazepoxide hydrochloride and compared to placebo and chlordiazepoxide in a formal double-blind trial. However, the results did not show any advantage for the addition of metaproterenol either in respect of enhanced antidepressant effect or a reduced incidence, nature, or severity of side-effects. References 1. Janowsky DS, El-Yousef MF, Davis JM, et al: A cholinergic adrenergic hypothesis of mania and depression . Lancet 3:632-635, 1972.Crossref 2. Wheatley D: Amphetamines in general practice: Their use in depression and anxiety . Sem Psychiatry 1:163-173, 1969. 3. Waal H: Propranolol-induced depression . Br Med J 2:50, 1967.Crossref 4. Sullivan JL, Segal DS, Kuczenski RT, et al: Propranolol-induced rapid activation of rat striatal tyrosine hydroxylase concomitant with behavioral depression . Biol Psychiatry 4:193-203, 1972. 5. Dengler HJ: Absorption, distribution and excretion of tritium-labeled 1-(3,5-dihydroxyphenyl)-2-isopropylaminoethanol (Alupent) . Arch Exp Pathol 255:9-10, 1966.Crossref 6. Meyers FH, Dawetz E, Goldfien A: Medical Pharmacology , ed 3. Los Altos, Calif, Lange, 1972, p 82. 7. Bonn JA: Beta-blocking drugs in anxiety. Read before the First World Congress of Biological Psychiatry, Buenos Aires, 1974. 8. Dunlop D, Shanks RG: Selective blockade of adrenoreceptive beta receptors in the heart . Br J Pharmacol 32:201-218, 1968. 9. Barret AM, Cullum V: The biological properties of the optical isomers of propranolol and their effects on cardiac arrhythmias . Br J Pharmacol 34:43-55, 1968.Crossref 10. Scales B, Cosgrove MB: The metabolism and distribution of the selective adrenergic beta blocking agent practolol . J Pharmacol Exp Ther 175:338-347, 1970. 11. Wheatley D: A trial of bendrofluazide in depression . Br J Psychiatry 123:713-714, 1973.Crossref 12. Boakes AJ, Laurence DR, Teoh PC, et al: Interactions between sympathomimetic amines and antidepressant agents in man . Br Med J 1:311-315, 1973.Crossref 13. Hare EH, Dominian J, Sharpe L: Phenelzine and dexamphetamine in depressive illness: A comparative trial . Br Med J 1:9-12, 1962.Crossref 14. Hare EH, McCance C, McCormick WO: Imipramine and drinamyl in depressive illness . Br Med J 1:818-820, 1964.Crossref 15. Wheatley D: A comparative trial of imipramine and phenobarbital in depressed patients seen in general practice . J Nerv Ment Dis 148:542-549, 1969.Crossref 16. Wheatley D: Drowsiness and antidepressant drugs in mild depressive illness . Br J Psychiatry 120:517-519, 1972.Crossref 17. Wheatley D: Psychopharmacology in Family Practice. New York, Appleton-Century-Crofts Inc, 1973.
Archives of General Psychiatry – American Medical Association
Published: May 1, 1975