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Re: Xanax and Klonopin -- serotonin

Posted by viridis on January 10, 2003, at 14:05:14

In reply to Re: Xanax and Klonopin. Madness! viridis, posted by Franz on January 10, 2003, at 8:20:32

Hi Franz,

Thanks for the information -- it was very enlightening. I did a bit of looking around, and found several other references (mostly secondary) that suggest that alprazolam and especially clonazepam can increase brain serotonin levels. One of the key studies for humans seems to be:

Chouinard, G. (1987). Clonazepam in acute and maintenance treatment of bipolar affective disorder. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. 4#(10. Suppl.), 29-36.

However, I haven't read the original article yet.

BrittPark's references are also interesting. I do wonder, though, about the rat study that showed increased brain serotonin with alprazolam doses of 1.25 mg/kg -- that would be equivalent to roughly 100 mg in a human (depending on weight), a dose that few are likely to approach.

In any case, this is interesting -- most research focuses on the GABAergic effects of benzos, so I assumed that any effects on the serotonin system would be indirect, if they occurred at all. And, I had assumed that benzos can exert an antidepressant effect (as they do for me) primarily by reducing anxiety. Now it looks like there might be other mechanisms at work as well.

I guess it just goes to show how complex the actions of even relatively well-understood meds can be.

All the best,





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