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Vraylar is an atypical antipsychotic that exerts its effect through a combination of partial agonist activity at central dopamine D2 and serotonin 5-HT1A receptors and antagonist activity at serotonin 5-HT2A receptors. It acts as an antagonist at 5-HT2B and 5-HT2A receptors with high and moderate binding affinity as well as it binds to the histamine H1 receptors. Cariprazine shows lower binding affinity to the serotonin 5-HT2C and alpha1A- adrenergic receptors and has no appreciable affinity for cholinergic muscarinic receptors.
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wikipedia skrev:Unlike many antipsychotics that are D2 and 5-HT2A receptor antagonists, cariprazine is a D2 and D3 partial agonist. It also has a higher affinity for D3 receptors. The D2 and D3 receptors are important targets for the treatment of schizophrenia, because the overstimulation of dopamine receptors has been implicated as a possible cause of schizophrenia. Cariprazine acts to inhibit overstimulated dopamine receptors (acting as an antagonist) and stimulate the same receptors when the endogenous dopamine levels are low. Cariprazine’s high selectivity towards D3 receptors could prove to reduce side effects associated with the other antipsychotic drugs, because D3 receptors are mainly located in the ventral striatum and would not incur the same motor side effects (extrapyramidal symptoms) as drugs that act on dorsal striatum dopamine receptors. Cariprazine also acts on 5-HT1A receptors, though the affinity is considerably lower than the affinity to dopamine receptors (seen in monkey and rat brain studies). In the same studies, cariprazine has been noted to produce pro-cognitive effects, the mechanisms of which are currently under investigation. An example of pro-cognitive effects occurred in pre-clinical trials with rats: rats with cariprazine performed better in a scopolamine-induced learning impairment paradigm in a water labyrinth test. This may be due to the selective antagonist nature of D3 receptors, though further studies need to be conducted. This result could be very useful for schizophrenia, as one of the symptoms includes cognitive deficits.
Cariprazine has partial agonist as well as antagonist properties depending on the endogenous dopamine levels. When endogenous dopamine levels are high (as is hypothesized in schizophrenic patients), cariprazine acts as an antagonist by blocking dopamine receptors. When endogenous dopamine levels are low, cariprazine acts more as an agonist, increasing dopamine receptor activity.
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