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Chronic fluoxetine treatment partly attenuates the long-term anxiety and depressive symptoms induced

Chronic fluoxetine treatment partly attenuates the long-term anxiety and depressive symptoms induced

  1. BitterSweet
    Use of the drug 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, 'Ecstasy') can have long-term adverse effects on emotion in both humans and laboratory animals. The present study examined whether chronic treatment with the antidepressant drug fluoxetine could reverse such effects. Fluoxetine treatment reversed MDMA-induced anxiety in the emergence test and depressive-like effects in the forced swim test, yet exhibited no effects on the social interaction test. MDMA pretreated rats had decreased 5-HT and 5-HIAA levels in limbic and cortical regions, and decreased density of serotonin transporter sites in the cortex. Fluoxetine treatment did not greatly affect 5-HT levels in MDMA pretreated rats, but significantly decreased 5-HIAA levels in all brain sites examined. Postmortem blood serum levels of fluoxetine and norfluoxetine did not differ in MDMA and vehicle pretreated rats. These results indicate that fluoxetine may provide a treatment option for some of the deleterious long-term effects resulting from MDMA exposure.