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An investigation of the effect of immediate and extended release venlafaxine on nocturnal melatonin and cortisol release in healthy adult volunteers.

Author(s): Hallam KT, Begg DP, Olver JS, Norman TR

Affiliation(s): Department of Psychiatry (Austin Health), The University of Melbourne, Australia. khallam@unimelb.edu.au

Publication date & source: 2008-03, Hum Psychopharmacol., 23(2):129-37.

Publication type: Randomized Controlled Trial

The secretion of the hormone melatonin is particularly robust to the effect of pharmacological agents. Medications may alter melatonin levels through either altering adrenergic activity or affecting liver enzymes involved in melatonin metabolism. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of venlafaxine, a third generation antidepressant with known adrenergic properties on melatonin secretion. A further aim of the study was to investigate the correlation between plasma and salivary measures on this medication. Eight healthy adult participants (four males, four females) took part in this double blind placebo controlled randomised trial. Participants were tested on 3 nights after taking venlafaxine XR (75 mg), venlafaxine IR (75 mg) or placebo. Participants were placed in a darkened room between 1900 and 0300 h and regular temperature readings, blood and saliva samples were drawn to assess melatonin and cortisol secretion in each condition. There was no significant effect of venlafaxine IR or XR on melatonin concentrations in plasma or saliva and no effects on other circadian parameters including cortisol and temperature. It was notable that the correlation between plasma and salivary melatonin levels became poor after drug treatment. These results indicate that at low doses the mixed serotonergic and noradrenergic drug venlafaxine has no effect on nocturnal melatonin concentrations. (c) 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Page last updated: 2008-03-26

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