Category Archives: Psychiatry

Benzodiazepines mechanism of action

Benzodiazepines and GABA receptors: an animation on their mechanism of action Gamma amino butyric acid (GABA) is an inhibiting neurotransmitter that is present on human brains. As shown in the animation, gamma amino butyric acid promotes opening of a postsynaptic receptor, the GABA-A receptor. This opening leads to a increased conductance to cloride ions, which…

EMA: Use modafinil only for narcolepsy

The European Medicines Agency recommended restricting the use of modafinil for narcolepsy only. “The European Medicines Agency has recommended restricting the use of modafinil-containing medicines. The medicine should only be used to treat sleepiness associated with narcolepsy. Doctors and patients should no longer use the medicine for the treatment of idiopathic hypersomnia, excessive sleepiness associated with…

Aripiprazole (Abilify) not approved for bipolar disorder

According to a press release, the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) did not accept aripiprazole for the treatment of manic episodes in bipolar I disorder and for the prevention of  new manic episodes. According to the SMC, the manufacturer did not present a sufficiently robust economic analysis to gain acceptance. Psychiatrist Daniel Carlat from “The Carlat…

Agomelatine (Valdoxan) for major depressive episodes

Agomelatine (Valdoxan, Melitor, Thymanax) is a recently marketed new drug for the treatment of major depression with a novel mechanism of action. It can be included in the class of  “other antidepressants”, or classified as a melatonergic drug. Mechanism of action Agomelatine acts as an agonist on melatonin MT1 and MT2 receptors. Additionally, it blocks…

Analysis of antidepressants effectiveness in adolescents: InfoPOEMs podcast

Essential Evidence Plus, formerly InfoPOEMs is a service by John Wiley and Sons that aims to give physicians succinct medical evidence that will impact in their medical practice. In this podcast Dr. Ebell and Dr. Wilkes (National Public Radio) discuss the POEM titled: “Antidepressants only modestly effective for adolescent depression” Listen to the podcast on…

NPS: Desvenlafaxine (Pristiq) not superior to venlafaxine for major depressive disorder

The National Prescribing Service Limited (Australia) made an independent evaluation on the role of desvenlafaxine (Pristiq) for the treatment of major depressive disorder. Summary: Desvenlafaxine is the active metabolite of venlafaxine. There is no evidence that desvenlafaxine is more effective, safer or better tolerated than venlafaxine or other antidepressants. Doses above 50 mg/day are unlikely…

Atomoxetine (Strattera) for ADHD: risk of psychotic or manic symptoms

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has published Drug Safety Update for March 2009. One of the drugs reviewed is atomoxetin (Strattera), a norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor used for the treatment of ADHD. These are the recommendations: Advice for healthcare professionals: • At normal doses, atomoxetine can be associated with treatment-emergent psychotic or manic…

MCQs for USMLE review on psychopharmacology: antipsychotics, benzodiazepines, antidepressants and lithium

These pharmacology MCQs from the UMKC School of Medicine have a different degree of difficulty, but are useful to review pharmacology of psychotropics. Psychotropics Item Number: 11667 correct answer: 4 category: Psychotropics 1. The symptoms of tardive dyskinesia will acutely improve with: 1. administration of diphenhydramine 2. administration of amantadine 3. administration of bromocriptine 4.…Continue Reading

Antidepressants podcast: comments on the latest ACP clinical guidelines

Essential Evidence Plus, formerly InfoPOEMs is a service by John Wiley and Sons that aims to give physicians succinct medical evidence that will impact in their medical practice. In this podcast Dr. Ebell and Dr. Wilkes (National Public Radio) discuss the POEM that analyzes the ACP guidelines (published in Annals of Internal Medicine) on antidepressants.…

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