Posted by Stan on February 22, 2003, at 13:33:22
In reply to Article re: drug addiction and dopamine?, posted by Stellaz on February 19, 2003, at 21:08:58
> Hi - I just read the linked article about the discovery that numerous addictive substances all appear to stimulate dopamine release in the brain:
> I just started a prescription for ReQuip which my doc prescribed to improve the sexual side effects I've had with Lexapro. He explained that it is a dopamine aganist - which sounds to my uneducated ear as though it serves the same purpose as the addictive drugs referenced in the article. I'd been taking 150 mg of Wellbutrin but made me too anxious. Anyway, I find that I've been smoking ALOT recently - is it possible that the ReQuip will help me cut down on smoking by providing the same dopamine release?
> Also, I'd love to hear any experiences with Lexapro, ReQuip, sexual dysfunction etc. Although I was hospitalized in 2000 for major depression I haven't been really good about continuing med treatment and thus find myself rather uninformed. I am going to start taking fish oil though! Thanks!
hi stellaz -- i took a glance at that article -- dopamine's role in brain function is so complex that i don't even try to understand all of its facets -- if i start reading about the more technical aspects of the way that psych-meds work, my eyes quickly glaze over, so i don't even bother to research that kind of thing. anyway, how's it going with the requip at this point? have the side effects you described in another post subsided at all (nausea, fatigue, drowsiness)? is it helping you reduce smoking or providing any improvement in the sexual dysfunction arena? have you noticed any improvement in your GAD or a subtle anti-depressant effect? i know you aren't taking it for those last two issues, but as i've mentioned previously, i've experienced some degree of improvement in anxiety and depression while taking requip. a very similar drug, mirapex, was compared to prozac in a study of their AD effects and was they were found to be equally effective for depression -- i don't think it was a large-scale trial though. many of the mirapex subjects complained of the side effects you described earlier, and some dropped out, but i guess it worked well enough to match prozac.
anti-parkinson's dopamine agonists such as requip and mirapex are also being studied for the treatment of drug cravings involving some of the recreational drugs mentioned in the article you posted. since they don't produce euphoria, they are unlikely to be abused themselves. they aren't "addictive," but i've noticed a wicked "discontinuation syndrome" associated with sudden cessation of use. it's quite unpleasant, with an extremely heightened sensation of anxiety present. if you decide to throw in the towel and stop taking it, it's best to taper down gradually.
anyway, i've gone on a bit long here -- let me know how you're doing if you have time.