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May 1975

An Adrenergic Drug in Depression

Author Affiliations

From the General Practitioner Research Group, Twickenham, England.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1975;32(5):653-655. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1975.01760230119009

It has been suggested that depression is a disease of cholinergic dominance and since the beta-adrenergic blocking drug propranolol hydrochloride can cause depression, there arises the possibility that a beta-adrenergic stimulant could benefit the condition.

For ethical reasons, the adrenergic drug metaproterenol sulfate was combined with chlordiazepoxide hydrochloride and compared to placebo and chlordiazepoxide in a formal double-blind trial. However, the results did not show any advantage for the addition of metaproterenol either in respect of enhanced antidepressant effect or a reduced incidence, nature, or severity of side-effects.

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