Jul 1, 1989

Noradrenergic output and clinical response in depressed women during amitriptyline therapy

G L CoronaF Savoldi


The measurement of the urinary excretion of 3-methoxy-4-hydroxyphenylglycol (MHPG) in 59 unipolar depressed women before and during administration of 100 mg amitriptyline (AMT) i.m. daily for four weeks showed that the patients could be divided into high or low MHPG excretors. An analysis of the excretion course of MHPG and 3-methoxy-4-hydroxy mandelic acid during therapy showed, in most patients, a lower urinary excretion of both these noradrenaline (NA) metabolites in comparison with basal values. Therapy also decreased plasma noradrenaline concentrations and blood pressure values both at rest and on orthostatic challenge. Available evidence seems to suggest that AMT administration caused a lower overall noradrenergic output that might be partially responsible for a diminished sympathetic nervous activity. The authors were unable to confirm that the baseline MHPG level can predict the clinical response to antidepressant treatment and they found no significant correlations between changes in bio-chemical or physiological variables and drug plasma concentrations or clinical response. The possibility that depressed patients might be grouped according to their different NA metabolism needs to be validated in a larger patient sample.

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Mentioned in this Paper

Metabolic Process, Cellular
Depressed - Symptom
Norepinephrine, (+, -)-Isomer
Amitriptyline Hydrochloride
Methoxyhydroxyphenylglycol, (-)-Isomer
Body Excretions
Metabolic Pathway
Norepinephrine Measurement

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