Catecholamine metabolism during clonidine withdrawal.

Abrupt cessation of clonidine treatment in hypertensive patients may precipitate a withdrawal syndrome. Since this drug is likely to be more widely prescribed to normotensive patients with neuropsychiatric diseases, we studied neurochemical, cardiovascular, and behavioral changes upon placebo substitution in seven patients receiving clonidine (6 micrograms/kg/day for 3 weeks) for treatment of alcohol amnestic disorder. Urinary excretion of all major catecholamine metabolites returned to pretreatment levels 3-5 days after discontinuing clonidine, without significant overshoot. The percentage increase during clonidine withdrawal of the norepinephrine metabolite normetanephrine was greater than were those of vanillylmandelic acid, 3-methoxy-4-hydroxyphenylglycol (MHPG), or the epinephrine metabolite metanephrine. Excretion of the dopamine metabolites homovanillic acid and 3-methoxytyramine did not change. Total plasma MHPG, heart rate, and mean arterial pressure were significantly elevated above pretreatment values 72 h after the last dose of clonidine. There was an enhancement of episodic memory compared to predrug values but no other behavioral changes were noted during clonidine withdrawal. These findings are consistent with augmented catecholamine release and central noradrenergic activation which may produce psychopathology in some psychiatric patients during clonidine withdrawal.
AuthorsP R Martin, M H Ebert, E K Gordon, H Weingartner, I J Kopin
JournalPsychopharmacology (Psychopharmacology (Berl)) Vol. 84 Issue 1 Pg. 58-63 ( 1984) ISSN: 0033-3158 [Print] GERMANY, WEST
PMID6436892 (Publication Type: Journal Article)
Chemical References
  • Catecholamines
  • Normetanephrine
  • Methoxyhydroxyphenylglycol
  • Vanilmandelic Acid
  • Clonidine
  • Norepinephrine
  • Epinephrine
  • Aged
  • Catecholamines (metabolism)
  • Clonidine (adverse effects)
  • Epinephrine (urine)
  • Female
  • Heart Rate (drug effects)
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Memory (drug effects)
  • Methoxyhydroxyphenylglycol (urine)
  • Middle Aged
  • Norepinephrine (urine)
  • Normetanephrine (urine)
  • Substance Withdrawal Syndrome (metabolism, physiopathology)
  • Time Factors
  • Vanilmandelic Acid (urine)

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