Serotonin and Fluoxetine Levels in Plasma and Platelets After Fluoxetine Treatment in Depressive Patients

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Depression is a mood disorder characterized by complex alterations of neurotransmitters such as serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine. In particular, there is substantial evidence of abnormalities in serotonin neurotransmission. Peripheral parameters of serotoninergic transmission, such as the 5-hydroxytryptamine content of plasma and platelets, have been used to identify biochemical alterations related to depression. In recent years, these parameters have also been used to examine the mechanism of action of antidepressive drugs such as the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors.This study investigated the interaction between the plasma and platelet levels of fluoxetine and serotonin after fluoxetine administration to depressed patients. Twelve patients affected by major depression (according to the DSM-IV criteria) received a single oral dose of fluoxetine in the morning: 5 mg in the first 5 days, 10 mg from day 6 to day 10, and 20 mg from day 11 to day 40. Blood samples were collected at 0, 7, 10, and 24 hours after drug administration on the day 1 of fluoxetine 5 mg and on the 1st and the 30th day of fluoxetine 20 mg (days 11 and 40 of treatment, respectively).Plasma fluoxetine and serotonin levels increased after drug administration, reaching the highest levels on the 30th day of fluoxetine 20 mg. Fluoxetine levels were also detectable in platelets, with a time variation similar to plasma values. Platelet serotonin levels decreased after drug administration, and the lowest values were observed on the 30th day of fluoxetine 20 mg.

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