Atypical Antipsychotic Drugs and Ethanol Withdrawal Syndrome: A Review

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Abstract

Aims: Alcoholism and psychosis are known to have common neurochemical substrates. The aim of this review is to assess the reports involved in the effects of some atypical antipsychotic agents on the signs of ethanol withdrawal syndrome (EWS) in rats. Thus, both effectiveness of these drugs in ethanol withdrawal and the association between the drug effects and the signs have been investigated here on the same animal model. Methods: Adult Wistar rats were used as subjects. Ethanol was given to rats by modified liquid diet technique for inducing ethanol dependence. Clozapine, olanzapine, risperidone, quetiapine and ziprasidone were the drugs tested. Effects of these drugs on the signs of ethanol withdrawal such as locomotor hyperactivity, stereotyped behavior, tremor, wet dog shakes, tail-stiffness, abnormal posture and gait, agitation and audiogenic seizures were evaluated for the first 6 h of ethanol withdrawal. Results: Although some beneficial effects of all the drugs on ethanol withdrawal signs were observed, olanzapine precipitated abnormal posture and gait in the animals. Effectiveness rank of the used atypical antipsychotics was as follows: risperidone = quetiapine > ziprasidone > klozapine > olanzapine. Conclusion: Our results suggest that risperidone and quetiapine seem to be potent and pharmacologically more active agents on EWS in rats. Thus, these drugs may be beneficial in treatment of EWS in patients with alcoholism. Ziprasidone and clozapine also seem to be useful drugs in treatment of ethanol withdrawal.

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