Aburawi SM, AL-Tubuly RA, Alghzewi EA, Gorash ZM
Department of Pharmacology and Clinical Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy, El-Fateh University, Libya
Libyan J Med AOP: 070909 (published 17 October 2007)
Alprazolam is effective as an anxiolytic and in the adjunct treatment of depression. In this study, the effects of calcium channel antagonists on the antidepressant action of alprazolam and imipramine were investigated. A forced swimming maze was used to study behavioral despair in albino mice. Mice were divided into nine groups (n = 7 per group). One group received a single dose of 1% Tween 80; two groups each received a single dose of the antidepressant alone (alprazolam or imipramine); two groups each received a single dose of the calcium channel blocker (nifedipine or verapamil); four groups each received a single dose of the calcium channel blocker followed by a single dose of the antidepressant (with same doses used for either in the previous four groups). Drug administration was performed concurrently on the nine groups. Our data confirmed the antidepressant action of alprazolam and imipramine. Both nifedipine and verapamil produced a significant antidepressant effect (delay the onset of immobility) when administered separately. Verapamil augmented the antidepressant effects of alprazolam and imipramine (additive antidepressant effect). This may be due to the possibility that verapamil might have antidepressant-like effect through different mechanism. Nifedipine and imipramine combined led to a delay in the onset of immobility greater than their single use but less than the sum of their independent administration. This may be due to the fact that nifedipine on its own might act as an antidepressant but blocks one imipramine mechanism that depends on L-type calcium channel activation. Combining nifedipine with
alprazolam produced additional antidepressant effects, which indicates that they exert antidepressant effects through different mechanisms.
Keywords: Effects of Calcium Channel Blockers on Antidepressant Action of Alprazolam and Imipramine