Anxiolytic and Antidepressant like Profile of Repeatedly administrated Escitalopram in Behavioral Animal Models

Muhammad Farhan, Mehvish Perveen



Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) were initially introduced as antidepressants, and their potential as anxiolytic has been observed in the treatment of social phobia, post-traumatic stress disorder, and generalized anxiety disorder Escitalopram is therapeutically active S-enantiomer of citalopram. It is a commonly prescribed Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). SSRIs are the latest generated antidepressants having the selective mechanism of action towards 5-Hydroxytryptamine (Serotonin; 5-HT) without affecting any other unwanted effects on other neurotransmitters. Escitalopram is very selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor; it blocks the serotonin transporters without producing any significant effect on other monoamines transporters. Evidences suggest that escitalopram is efficient in the treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD) and generalized anxiety disorders (GAD). The present study was designed to determine the effects of repeated administration of escitalopram on locomotor activity and anxiolytic behavior of animals in animal model. Rats were administered orally with escitalopram (5 mg/kg) daily for 7 days. This study showed anxiolytic activity produced on repeated administration of drug in light dark transition test. As compared to control animals, activity in activity box was higher and activity in open field was smaller in escitalopram administrated animals. These information support clinical discoveries that escitalopram is a powerful, very much endured SSRI with anxiolytic-like impacts.


Antidepressants, Citalopram, Escitalopram, Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor, Serotonin

Full Text:



• Artigas F, Nutt DJ and Shelton R (2001). Mechanism of action of antidepressants. Psychopharmacology, 36: 123-132.

• Batool F, Kamal A, Sattar M, Shah AH, Ahmed SD, Saify ZS, Haleem DJ (2011). Evaluation of antidepressant-like effects of aqueous extract of sea buckthorn (Hippophaerhamnoides L. ssp. turkestanica) fruits in experimental models of depression. Pak. J. Bot, 43(3): 1595-1599.

• Berger M, Gray JA and Roth BL (2009). The Expanded Biology of Serotonin. Annual Review of Medicine, 60: 355-366.

• Bielski RJ, Bose A, and Chang CC (2005). A double-blind comparison of escitalopram and paroxetine in the long-term treatment of generalized anxiety disorder. Annals of Clinical Psychiatry, 17(2): 65-69.

• Costagliola C, Parmeggiani F, Semeraro F and Sebastiani A (2008). Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors: a review of its effects on intraocular pressure. Current neuropharmacology, 6(4): 293.

• Farhan M, Ikram H, Kanwal S and Haleem DJ (2014). Unpredictable chronic mild stress induced behavioral deficits: A comparative study in male and female rats. Pak. J. Pharm. Sci., 27(4): 879-884.

• Feighner JP (1999). Mechanism of action of antidepressant medications. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 60(4): 4-13.

• Ferguson JM (2001). SSRI antidepressant medications: adverse effects and tolerability. Primary care companion to the Journal of clinical psychiatry, 3(1): 22.

• Haleem DJ (2010). Neurochemistry, neuropharmacology and behavior. Germany: VDM Publishers.

• Hirschfeld RM and Vornik LA (2004). Newer antidepressants: review of efficacy and safety of escitalopram and dapoxetine. The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 65(4): 46-52.

• Hyttel J (1994). Pharmacological characterization of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). International Clinical Psychopharmacology, 9(1): 19-26.

• Kasper S, Sacher J, Klein N, Mossaheb N, Attarbaschi-Steiner T, Lanzenberger R, Spindelegger C, Asenbaum S, Holik A, Dudczak R (2009). Differences in the dynamics of serotonin reuptake transporter occupancy may explain superior clinical efficacy of escitalopram versus citalopram. Int Clin Psychopharmacol., 24(3): 119-25.

• Kennedy SH, Andersen HF, and Lam RW (2006). Efficacy of escitalopram in the treatment of major depressive disorder compared with conventional selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and venlafaxine XR: a meta-analysis. J. Psychiatry Neurosci., 31(2): 122–131.

• Lepola UM., Loft H, and Reines EH (2003). Escitalopram (10–20 mg/day) is effective and well tolerated in a placebo-controlled study in depression in primary care. International clinical psychopharmacology, 18(4): 211-217.

• Llorca PM, Brousse G, Schwan R (2005). Escitalopram for treatment of major depressive disorder in adults. L’Encephale, 31(4 Pt 1): 490-501.

• Llorca PM., Reine G, and Wolf MA (1993). Mechanism of action of antidepressants. Canadian journal of psychiatry. Revue canadienne de psychiatrie, 38(10): 649-656

• Maldonado E, Navarro JF (2000). Effects of 3, 4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine (MDMA) on anxiety in mice tested in the light-dark box. Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry, 24(3): 463–472.

• Mill J, Galsworthy MJ, Paya-Cano JL, Sluyter F, Schalkwyk LC, Plomin R and Asherson P (2002). Home-cage activity in heterogeneous stock (HS) mice as a model of baseline activity. Genes, Brain and Behavior, 1(3): 166–173.

• Mnie-Filali O, El Mansari M, Espana A, Sánchez C, Haddjeri N (2006). Allosteric modulation of the effects of the 5-HT reuptake inhibitor escitalopram on the rat hippocampal synaptic plasticity. Neurosci Lett., 395: 23-27.

• Moore N, Verdoux H, and Fantino B (2005). Prospective, multicenter, randomized, double-blind study of the efficacy of escitalopram versus citalopram in outpatient treatment of major depressive disorder. International clinical psychopharmacology, 20(3): 131-137.

• Muhonen LH, Lönnqvist J, Juva K, and Alho H (2008). Double-blind, randomized comparison of memantine and escitalopram for the treatment of major depressive disorder comorbid with alcohol dependence. The Journal of clinical psychiatry, 69(3): 392-399.

• Nutt DJ, Forshall S, Bell C, Rich A, Sandford J, Nash J, and Argyropoulos S (1999) Mechanisms of action of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors in the treatment of psychiatric disorders. Eur Neuropsycho pharmacol 9 (Supple 3): S81–S86.

• Owens MJ, Knight DL, and Nemeroff CB (2001) Second-generation SSRIs: human monoamine transporter binding profile of escitalopram and R-fluoxetine. Biol Psychiatry 50: 345–350.

• Pelissolo A (2008). Efficacy and tolerability of escitalopram in anxiety disorders: a review. Encephale, 34(4): 400-8.

• Rao N (2007). The clinical pharmacokinetics of escitalopram. Clinical pharmacokinetics, 46(4): 281-290.

• Rose EJ, Simonotto E, Spencer EP, and Ebmeier KP (2006). The effects of escitalopram on working memory and brain activity in healthy adults during performance of the n-back task. Psychopharmacology, 185(3): 339-347.

• Sánchez C (2003a) R-citalopram attenuates anxiolytic effects of escitalopram in a rat ultrasonic vocalisation model. Eur J Pharmacol 464: 155–15

• Tang X, Orchard SM, Sanford LD (2002). Home cage activity and behavioral performance in inbred and hybrid mice. Behavioral Brain Research, 136: 555-569.

• Waugh J and Goa KL (2003). Escitalopram. CNS Drugs, 17(5): 343-362.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2017 Pakistan Journal of Pharmaceutical Research

Copyright © 2014 All Rights Reserved  Pakistan Journal of Pharmaceutical Research 
Powered by Department of Pharmacy BZU | Designed By: Muqeet Wahid