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Oseltamivir (Tamiflu®) increases dopamine levels in the rat medial prefrontal cortex

Authors
Journal
Neuroscience Letters
0304-3940
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
438
Issue
1
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.neulet.2008.04.011
Keywords
  • Oseltamivir
  • Dopamine
  • Medial Prefrontal Cortex
  • Rat
  • Abnormal Behaviors
Disciplines
  • Biology
  • Medicine
  • Pharmacology

Abstract

Abstract Oseltamivir (Tamiflu ®), a neuraminidase inhibitor, is effective for treating both seasonal flu and H5N1 influenza A virus infection. Oseltamivir is generally well tolerated, and its most common adverse effects are nausea and vomiting. However, neuropsychiatric behaviors including jumping and falling from balconies by young patients being treated by oseltamivir have been reported from Japan; this has led to warnings against its prescribing by many authorities. The pharmacological mechanism of the neuropsychiatric effects of oseltamivir remains unclear. Many studies reported that changes in neurotransmission and abnormal behaviors are closely related. We investigated the changes in dopamine and serotonin metabolism after systemic administration of oseltamivir in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) of rats by using microdialysis. After systemic administration of oseltamivir (25 mg/kg or 100 mg/kg; intraperitoneally (i.p.)), extracellular dopamine in the mPFC was significantly increased as compared to the control values; 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid and homovanillic acid, the metabolites of dopamine, had also increased significantly. Serotonin was unchanged after the administration of oseltamivir. These findings suggest that oseltamivir increased dopamine release in the mPFC; further, they suggest that the increase in dopamine during oseltamivir treatment may have caused abnormal behaviors in young patients. In cases where oseltamivir is prescribed to children, close observation is required.

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