Effect of loxapine on peripheral dopamine-like and serotonin receptors in patients with schizophrenia.
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OBJECTIVE: To investigate the effect of loxapine on peripheral dopamine D2-like and serotonin receptor binding and on psychotic symptoms. PATIENTS: Patients (n = 24) meeting the diagnostic criteria of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision, for schizophrenia were selected from an outpatient clinic (age range 18-70 yr). METHODS: Patients were given loxapine (dose determined by a physician) for a period of 12 weeks. There were clinic visits at before treatment began and at 6 weeks and 12 weeks of treatment. Scores on a variety of efficacy and safety scales were recorded at each visit, and blood was drawn for receptor assays. RESULTS: Patients showed significant improvement on most psychiatric assessment scales after 6 and 12 weeks of treatment with loxapine, and both lymphocyte D2-like and 5-HTL2A platelet receptor binding were down-regulated after 6 and 12 weeks. The degree of receptor down-regulation was not significantly correlated with improvements in psychotic symptoms, however. CONCLUSION: Loxapine down-regulated both lymphocyte D2-like and platelet 5-HT2A receptors to the same extent, suggesting that both receptors are involved in the mechanism of action of loxapine in patients with schizophrenia.
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