Antidepressant drugs are effective in anxiety states, including panic disorder. Both clinical and animal studies indicate that l -sulpiride, at low, non-neuroleptic doses, has antidepressant activity. The present study examined the effect of an antidepressant dose of l -sulpiride (4 mg/kg per day SC), compared with a well-established antidepressant drug (fluoxetine, 3 mg/ kg per day SC), in a rat model of anticipatory anxiety/panic behavior: conditioned fear stress-induced freezing behavior. Long-term (26 days) administration of l -sulpiride almost completely abolished freezing, a similar effect being produced by fluoxetine (freezing duration, in seconds: controls, 148.1 ± 29.6; l -sulpiride, 27.5 ± 8.3; fluoxetine, 72.0 ± 15.2). The same doses of l -sulpiride (4 mg/kg SC) and fluoxetine (3 mg/kg SC) had no effect when administered for shorter periods (1, 5, or 12 days). No effect was produced by the long-term (26 days) administration of a neuroleptic dose of l -sulpiride (20 mg/kg per day SC). These results demonstrate that long-term administration of low, non-neuroleptic doses of l -sulpiride, is highly effective in an animal model of anticipatory anxiety/panic behavior.
Psychopharmacology – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 1, 1999
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