Bupropion HCl (Wellbatrin®), a non-tricyclic compound with antidepressant effects in man, was evaluated for effects on plasma prolactin (PRL) and growth hormone (GH) levels in normal human subjects, and for effects on plasma PRL levels in a series of pharmacological studies in normal rats. Single oral doses of 50, 100 or 200 mg of bupropion given to male (n=6) and female (n=12) subjects produced a marked suppression (80% decrease) of PRL. Incomplete PRL recovery was observed at the end of 24 hours. One hour after drug administration there was a +0.56 correlation of percent decrease in PRL levels with bupropion plasma levels. GH showed only small and erratic changes in plasma levels at 1-4 hours post-dose. In the rat, single bupropion doses of 25 mg/kg, i.p., failed to lower basal PRL levels. Bupropion, however, significantly decreased PRL in rats in which plasma PRL was elevated by pretreatment with alphamethyltyrosine, 5-hydroxytryptophan or quipazine. Bupropion, on the other hand, did not counteract the PRL-elevating effect of haloperidol. Results in man and rat are consistent with the view that bupropion has significant dopamine mimetic properties. Whether bupropion is a direct dopamine receptor-stimulator or an indirectly acting agonist cannot be determined from the present results.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)