Pharmacologic properties of serotonergic agents and antidepressant drugs.J Clin Psychiatry 1987; 48 Suppl:5-11JC
The ways in which pharmacologic intervention is possible in the synthesis, storage, release, inactivation, and actions of serotonin as a brain neurotransmitter are outlined, and the effects on serotonergic neuron function of the drugs used in the treatment of depression are discussed. Antidepressant drugs that inhibit monoamine oxidase increase brain concentrations of serotonin as well as other monoamines. Some tricyclic antidepressant drugs inhibit serotonin uptake along with norepinephrine uptake. There is some evidence that serotonin precursors and serotonin-releasing drugs can have antidepressant efficacy. Recently, selective inhibitors of serotonin uptake have been shown to be effective in the treatment of depression. Selective drugs for modulating serotonergic function will facilitate understanding of the role of serotonin and of specific subtypes of serotonin receptors in depression.