Purpose: For a long time, antidepressants have been thought to possess proconvulsant properties. This
assumption, however, remains controversial, since anticonvulsant effects have been attributed to certain
antidepressants. To date, it remains unclear which antidepressants can be used for the treatment of depression in patients with epilepsy. In this respect, studies investigating
the convulsant liability of antidepressants in a chronic epilepsy model can give valuable information.
The present study was designed to determine the seizure liability of citalopram and reboxetine in the kainic acid-induced post-status epilepticus model for temporal lobe epilepsy.
Methods: Two months after the induction of status epilepticus, chronic epileptic rats (n = 16) were videoelectroencephalography (EEG) monitored during seven onsecutive weeks. Weeks 1, 3, 5, and 7 served as sham weeks during which the rats received intraperitoneal saline injections for four consecutive days, followed by a 3-day sham washout period during which no injections were given. During weeks 2, 4, and 6, rats received intraperitoneal injections with either citalopram (5, 10, and 15 mg/kg, once daily, n = 8) or reboxetine (10, 20, and 30 mg/kg, twice daily, n = 8) for 4 days, again followed by a washout period of 3 days.
Drugs were administered in a randomly assigned fixed-dose regimen per week. Each rat served as its
own control. The drug doses were selected based on the doses reported to have antidepressant effects in
rats.
Key Findings: Citalopram significantly decreased the spontaneous seizure frequency at the highest dose tested, that is, the mean number of seizures decreased from 12.8 seizures to 8.8 seizures per week (31%) after treatment with 15 mg/kg citalopram. This dose also significantly decreased the cumulative seizure duration. Administration of 5 and 10 mg/kg citalopram did not alter the seizure frequency. The two highest doses of reboxetine significantly decreased the spontaneous seizure frequency, that
is, 20 mg/kg reboxetine decreased the seizure frequency from 14.1 to 7.9 (44%) and 30 mg/kg reboxetine decreased the seizure frequency from 11.8 to 7.2 (39%). In addition, both doses significantly decreased the cumulative seizure duration. Administration of 10 mg/kg reboxetine did not alter seizure frequency. Citalopram and reboxetine had no effect on seizure severity and seizure duration in any of the doses tested.
Significance: In general we can conclude that antidepressant doses of citalopram and reboxetine have, depending on the dose, an anticonvulsant effect or no effect on spontaneous seizures in the kainic acid-induced post-status epilepticus rat model.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)870-878
JournalEpilepsia
Volume53
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2012

    Research areas

  • Citalopram, Reboxetine, Anticonvulsant

ID: 2213424