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Efficacy of Noradrenergic-Selective Agents in the Treatment of Neuropsychiatric Diseases

  • Siegfried F. Kasper and Eva Resinger

Abstract

In recent years, a number of antidepressants with varying degrees of selectivity for the noradrenergic neurotransmitter system have become available. However, these agents represent a pharmacologically heterogeneous group and differ in terms of their precise side-effect profile and, possibly, their clinical efficacy. Bupropion, which is thought to act on both the dopamine and norepinephrine (NE) systems, has not been widely used as an antidepressant and has more recently been licensed as adjunctive therapy for smoking cessation. The serotonin-NE reuptake inhibitors venlafaxine and nefazodone, the noradrenergic and specific serotonergic antide-pressant mirtazapine, and the selective NE reuptake inhibitor reboxetine (the only truly NE-selective agent available) have all demonstrated efficacy in the treatment of depressive disorders. Evidence is now emerging for their use in the treatment of anxiety and panic disorders. There is some suggestion of a role for noradrenergic agents in other disorders, including attention-deficit/hyper-activity disorder and social phobia. The full range of disorders for which noradrenergic agents can be used remains to be seen and further research in this area is necessary.

Copyright

Corresponding author

Please direct correspondence to: Siegfried F. Kasper, MD, University of Vienna, Wahringer Gurtel 18-20, A-1090, Vienna, Austria. Tel: 43-1-40400-3568; Fax: 43-1-40400-3099; E-mail: sk@akh-wien.ac.at.

References

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