Toxicology of Antidepressant Drugs: Tricyclic Antidepressants

Animal Toxicity General Toxicology The LD 50 values for a number of tricyclic antidepressants, when administered to mice and rats in single oral or parenteral doses, are listed in Table Acute LD50 valuesa of some tricyclic antidepressants. Acute poisoning by tricyclic antidepressants usually leads to symptoms of central excitation followed at the higher and lethal dose levels by central inhibition. The symptomatology includes muscular weakness, twitching, stupor, respiratory disorders, ataxia, and tonic-clonic convulsions. Table Acute LD50 valuesa of some tricyclic antidepressants Imipramine Doxepine Nortriptyline Viloxazine Maprotiline Mouse i.v. p.o. 35 666 15- 20 148-178 26 327 60 1000 31 660- 900 Rat i.v. p.o. 22 625 13- 19 346-460 22 502 60-77 2000 38- 52 760-1050 a The values given are for LD50, single administration, in mg/kg body weight It is evident from Table Acute LD50 valuesa of some tricyclic antidepressants or from the reports of Pluviage () and of Ueki et al. () that no major differences in the acute toxicity of tricyclic antidepressants are apparent. Information on animal studies relating to the tolerance of tricyclic antidepressants Read more […]

Drug-Drug Interactions of Cocaine

Alcohol Cocaine abusers have reported that alcohol prolongs the euphoriant properties of cocaine, while ameliorating the acutely unpleasant physical and psychological sequelae, primarily paranoia and agitation. It may also lessen the dysphoria associated with acute cocaine abstinence. It has also been proposed that concurrent alcohol abuse may be an integral part of cocaine abuse. The combination of cocaine with alcohol can cause enhanced hepatotoxicity and enhanced cardiotoxicity. Trauma in patients who use cocaine plus alcohol has been reported. Those who use cocaine plus alcohol are 3-5 times more likely to have homicidal ideation and plans; this is particularly prominent in patients with antisocial personality disorder. A large high school survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that illicit substance abuse, prevalence of weapon carrying, and physical fighting were higher among the adolescents who reported recent use of cocaine, marijuana, alcohol, and corticosteroids. Among 215 female homicide offenders, 70% had been regular drug users at some time before imprisonment. Alcohol, crack, and powdered cocaine were the drugs most likely to be related to these homicides. In a double-blind Read more […]

Cocaine-Related Disorders

DSM-IV-TR describes both cocaine use disorders (cocaine dependence and cocaine abuse) and cocaine-induced disorders (cocaine intoxication, cocaine withdrawal, cocaine intoxication delirium, cocaine-induced sexual dysfunction, cocaine-induced psychotic, mood, anxiety, and sleep disorders). Epidemiological Characteristics An estimated 193,034 U.S. emergency department visits solely for cocaine use were documented in the 2001 Drug Abuse Warning Network (Office of Applied Studies 2003), and cocaine is the most frequently reported drug in emergency department visits. Frequent reasons for psychiatric consultation in the medical setting are cocaine overdose, positive results of a urine toxicological screen, cocaine-induced depression, cocaine-induced cardiac problems, and cocaine-induced psychosis. According to the 1998 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse, 1.8 million individuals in the United States had used cocaine during a 1-month period. Use of crack cocaine is especially high in poor urban areas, but its use is widespread among other populations, such as rural migrant workers. Many cocaine users are polysubstance abusers. Pharmacological Characteristics Cocaine hydrochloride is a white crystalline powder derived Read more […]

Poppy Cultivation in Australia: Plant Cultural Techniques

Crop Rotation In Tasmania poppies are typically grown on mixed farming enterprises which may include any or all of a very wide range of vegetables, pasture, cereal or other essential oil, herb or insecticidal crops. These crops may include green peas (Pisum sativum), potatoes (Solarium tuberosum), onions (Allium cepa), brassicas (Brassica ssp.), mint (Mentha piperita), fennel (Foeniculum vulgare), pyrethrum (Tanacetum cinerariifolium) and others. There is a generally accepted policy on the part of both poppy contracting companies that there should be a three to four year rotation between poppy crops because of the potential for disease with shorter rotations. However there is no general agreement on the specific crops which should precede poppies. Good poppy yields have been recorded when a range of the above vegetable, pasture, or cereal crops have preceded poppies. Time of Establishment Early spring (August — September) is the preferred sowing time for most poppy crops in Tasmania with flowering occurring in December and a dry mature harvest (12% moisture in capsules) during February/March. Trials have shown that spring sowing later than September resulted in lower capsule dry matter yields and lower morphine Read more […]

Potential Mechanisms of Alcohol-Induced Bone Disease

The normal growth of bone cells depends upon a variety of orchestrated factors, including adequate nutrition and the function and interaction of various hormones and intercellular regulating factors. Research in this area suggests that while the exact mechanism through which alcohol affects the integrity of the skeleton is not known, much has been learned. Even so, likely candidates have not been clearly identified. Chronic consumption of relatively low amounts of alcohol (one to two drinks per day for women; three to four drinks per day for men) can interfere with the normal metabolism of nutrients. As a result of poor diets, impaired nutrient absorption, or increased renal excretion, alcoholics often have deficiencies in minerals such as calcium, phosphate, and magnesium, as well as low levels of vitamin D, which is necessary for the absorption of calcium from the intestinal system. However, there is little histomorphometric evidence that nutritional deficiencies related to alcohol use are a major cause of alcohol-induced bone disease. Another candidate that may contribute to alcohol-induced bone disease is calcitonin, a peptide produced by the thyroid gland. Calcitonin inhibits bone resorption, in effect protecting Read more […]


(±)3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, “Ecstasy,” E, Adam, X, XTC) is a methamphetamine analogue. It has hallucinogenic, psychostimulant, and multiple behavior-altering activities. Although it was discovered serendipitously in 1912 by Merck Pharmaceuticals, its use as a psychotherapeutic/recreational drug was unknown until the late 1970s. By the early 1980s, as the popularity of the “rave party” increased so did use of MDMA. In 1985, prior to its classification as a Schedule I drug, it was being evaluated for its use in psychotherapy. A fearful Congress and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) successfully petitioned for its classification as a Schedule I compound with no evidence that it was at all harmful. Recreational use of MDMA has been on the rise for the past 20 years. Increases in the rate of MDMA use have continued despite reductions in the use of other substances. This is an international trend. Although there have been occasional deaths indirectly caused by the use of MDMA, it is widely considered by its users to be a “safe” drug. The illusion of safety stems from lack of the obvious negative effects that other amphetamine-type compounds induce. MDMA does not cause an increase in aggressive behavior, Read more […]

Drug Info: Therapeutic use. Treatment. Mental and Physiological Effects. Rehab.

Entries are arranged alphabetically and follow a standardized format that allows to easily find information, and also facilitates comparisons of different drugs. Rubrics include: • Official names, Street names: This section lists the alternate names for a substance, including brand names, generic names, and chemical names for drugs, as well as common “street” names for drugs and other substances. • Drug classification: This section lists the type of drug and its classification and schedule by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, if applicable. • Key terms: This is a mini-glossary of terms in the entry that may be unfamiliar to students. • Overview: Historical background is included here, including the drug’s origin, development, and introduction to society. The current impact of the drug is discussed. • Chemical/organic composition: This section includes discussion on the various compositions of the drug, if it is found in pure or altered forms, and whether or not it is often mixed with other substances or drugs. • Ingestion methods: Availability of the drug or substance in different forms, for example, pill or powder, is discussed. • Therapeutic use: This section describes Read more […]