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Lurasidone: effects, functioning and uses of this drug

Lurasidone: effects, functioning and uses of this drug

June 12, 2024

There are multiple substances and compounds, some obtained directly from nature and others synthesized by man, that have been discovered effective and useful to treat different ailments. The investigation of the properties of these substances is what has given rise to pharmacology. And not only dedicated to the medical field focused on the body, but also in the mind: psychopharmacology.

The latter allows to stabilize different alterations such as bipolar disorder or schizophrenia, as well as to help in the treatment of other disorders through the different drugs that have been developed throughout history. One of these drugs used mainly in the treatment of schizophrenia is lurasidone .

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What is lurasidone?

The lurasidone is a psychoactive drug classified within the group of atypical antipsychotics , which are substances that through the alteration of different elements at the brain level try to fight the symptoms of schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders.

The fact that it is classified within the atypical antipsychotics is due to the fact that it is one of the products of the research carried out to generate drugs that did not have as many side effects as the first antipsychotics that were discovered and at the same time it was tried to improve the effectiveness in the treatment of negative symptoms (which decreases the functionality of the patient by reducing its activation), something in which the typical or classic did not produce any effect and could even get worse.

The lurasidone contributes to diminish mainly the so-called positive symptoms (not because it is good but because it adds elements and hyperactive to the subject) such as hallucinations, vegetative hyperactivation and the feeling of restlessness and nervousness. Also, as an atypical antipsychotic that is, it also reduces the like the alogia, the anhedonia and the passivity and low level of energy. It has also been observed to increase sleep and appetite in those patients with schizophrenia and similar disorders.

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Mechanism of action

The functioning of lurasidone is based, as in the case of most antipsychotics, on the blockade of the dopamine D2 receptors of the mesolimbic pathway. And it has been observed that positive symptoms, such as hallucinations and delusions, could be caused by an excess of dopamine in that way. It also has a relevant interaction with the serotonergic system, and at a lower level with noradrenaline.

The first of these effects could be achieved by typical antipsychotics, but these have the disadvantage that their action blocking dopamine is nonspecific and affects many other brain pathways in which there is no dopaminergic alteration or even a lack thereof (being This deficit in the mesocortical pathway is considered responsible for the negative symptomatology), causing unpleasant and even dangerous secondary alterations. That is why we looked for alternatives and ended up generating atypical antipsychotics.

And it is that these, among them the lurasidone, stand out because although its mechanism of action goes through the blockade of the D2 receptors, It also has an effect on cerebral serotonin, reducing it . This neurotransmitter has an inhibitory effect on the synthesis of dopamine, and is also found in a much greater amount in the cerebral cortex, which means that by lowering the serotonin levels, the dopamine levels rise in those areas different from the mesolimbic pathway.

In this way the antagonist action of the drug towards dopamine reduces in the mesolimbic pathway the levels of this hormone, but in the rest of the brain an alteration does not take place because the decrease that the drug would generate is compensated by the decrease in the serotonin as an inhibitor of its synthesis (and even in the mesocortical way it produces a slight increase, improving negative symptoms).

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What is it used for?

Lurasidone is a drug whose main indication is schizophrenia, in which It has a considerable effectiveness reducing both positive and negative symptoms . In addition to this, it is also effective in other psychotic disorders such as chronic delusional disorder.

But its use is not limited only to disorders within the psychotic spectrum. Lurasidone is also quite effective in the presence of depressive episodes in the context of a bipolar disorder , increasing energy levels and reducing the anhedonia of those episodes

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Side effects, risks and contraindications

Although it has a lower number of side effects and a higher level of safety than typical antipsychotics, the fact is that lurasidone can generate different discomforts and even be contraindicated in some patients.

It has been observed that the consumption of this substance can generate sedation, dizziness, hyperthermia, weight gain, hyperglycemia , increased thirst and hunger, hypersalivation, sexual alterations such as decreased sexual desire or breast milk secretion (regardless of gender), agitation, tremors, nausea and vomiting, choking sensation or tachycardia, among others. Bradykinesia, involuntary buccal and orofacial movements such as dyskinesia and in some cases even seizures are also observed.

At the level of contraindications, should avoid this drug or take special precaution pregnant , people who take other medications (especially psychotropic drugs such as antidepressants) and elderly people with dementia (which are more likely to die with consumption) or who have had a stroke.

Pharmacology - ANTIPSYCHOTICS (MADE EASY) (June 2024).

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