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Re: Nimodipine (an L-type Ca channel blocker) as AD?

Posted by SLS on May 28, 2002, at 16:50:55

In reply to Nimodipine (an L-type Ca channel blocker) as AD?, posted by fairnymph on May 28, 2002, at 2:35:10

> It seems that nimodipine has been investigated and used as an antidepressant before, and with some success. Can anyone personally verify this?
> Also, it seems that nimodipine can increase the efficacy of SSRIs and TCAs (tricyclics), which might be quite useful for those who are treatment resistant. Furthermore, as nimodipine is a Ca channel blocker, it reduces cardiovascular side effects (tachycardia etc) that some people find problematic when taking SSRIs and TCAs.

Hello there, FairNymph.

I am very interested to know where you found the information regarding the efficacy of combining nimodipine specifically with SSRIs and TCAs.

The NIMH has been playing around with nimodipine and isradipine for the last 10 years. I don't see that they or anyone else have been very vocal about its utility in affective disorders. Verapamil has been used from time to time in the past for affective disorders, but I imagine it is not used as much today with the advent of the newer anticonvulsants. I looked at one of the NIMH abstracts available on Medline regarding calcium channel blockers. Although they focused on L-type CCBs, it was suggested that it was the dihydropyridine molecular structure of these CCBs (nimodipine, isradipine, and nifedipine) that was associated with efficacy. I'm not so sure about nifedipine, though. It has been known to actually cause depression. In one case, a woman who had been stable for many years on nortriptyline relapsed into depression immediately upon the addition of nifedipine, which was prescribed for hypertension. When the nifedipine was discontinued upon the suspicion that it might be responsible for the relapse, she very quickly recovered. She was rechallenged with nifedipine, and again relapsed into depression.

I once tried taking a calcium supplement. After my very first dose, my depression became dramatically worse. It could have been an unrelated coincidence, but I have not tried it since. There might be something going on there with the balance between calcium and magnesium in the neural environment.

Nimodipine is incredibly expensive. Do you know how much isradipine costs?

- Scott




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