"Broad spectrum" antidepressants: Is more better for the treatment of depression?

Phil Skolnick, Piotr Popik, Aaron Janowsky, Bernard Beer, Arnold S. Lippa

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

91 Scopus citations


The majority of antidepressants in current use selectively inhibit the reuptake of serotonin and/or norepinephrine. "Broad spectrum" antidepressants are compounds that inhibit the reuptake of norepinephrine, serotonin and dopamine, the three biogenic amines most closely linked to depression. The pharmacological profile of one such compound has recently been described (European Journal of Pharmacology, 461 (2003) 99). DOV 21,947, an azabicyclo[3.1.0]hexane, potently inhibits norepinephrine, serotonin and dopamine reuptake by the corresponding human transporter proteins. DOV 21,947 is orally active in the forced swim and tail suspension tests, preclinical procedures that are highly predictive of antidepressant action in patients. A closely related compound, DOV 216,303 is safe and well-tolerated in Phase I studies. The plasma concentrations of DOV 216,303 following both single and multiple doses appear sufficient to inhibit norepinephrine, serotonin, and dopamine reuptake. Based on the pivotal role proposed for dopamine in depression, it has been hypothesized that a broad spectrum antidepressant will produce a more rapid onset and/or higher efficacy than agents inhibiting the reuptake of serotonin and/or norepinephrine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3175-3179
Number of pages5
JournalLife Sciences
Issue number25
StatePublished - Nov 7 2003


  • Broad spectrum antidepressant
  • DOV 21,947
  • DOV 216,303
  • Depression
  • Reuptake inhibitors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)


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