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Why Drugs and Hormones May Interact in Psychiatric Disorders

Stephen M. Stahl

Published: April 1, 2001

Article Abstract
Brainstorms: Why Drugs and Hormones May Interact in Psychiatric Disorders.

Receptors most familiar to psychiatrists and psychopharmacologists may be those located in the neuronal membrane that normally interact with monoamine neurotransmitters. These include the 12 transmembrane region neurotransmitter transporters (e.g., the serotonin transporter or "serotonin reuptake pump") that are the targets of most known antidepressants, including the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Other well-recognized neuronal membrane receptors include the superfamily of 7 transmembrane region G protein-linked second messenger systems that are directly or indirectly the targets of many other psychotropic drugs, such as antipsychotics, some anxiolytics (e.g., buspirone), some antidepressants (e.g., mirtazapine), and many more. Still other well-known receptors located in the neuronal membrane include the superfamily of ligand-gated ion channels, such as those for glutamate and γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA), and are the targets of psychotropic drugs such as PCP (phencyclidine) and benzodiazepines.

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