Viloxazine (trade names Vivalan, Emovit, Vivarint and Vicilan) is a morpholine derivative and is a selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (NRI). It was used as an antidepressant in some European countries, and produced a stimulant effect that is similar to the amphetamines, except without any signs of dependence. It was discovered and brought to market in 1976 by Imperial Chemical Industries and was withdrawn from the market in the early 2000s for business reasons.
|By mouth, intravenous infusion|
|Elimination half-life||2–5 hours|
|CompTox Dashboard (EPA)|
|ECHA InfoCard||100.051.148 |
|Chemical and physical data|
|Molar mass||237.295 g/mol g·mol−1|
|3D model (JSmol)|
Viloxazine hydrochloride was used in some European countries for the treatment of clinical depression.
Side effects included nausea, vomiting, insomnia, loss of appetite, increased erythrocyte sedimentation, EKG and EEG anomalies, epigastric pain, diarrhea, constipation, vertigo, orthostatic hypotension, edema of the lower extremities, dysarthria, tremor, psychomotor agitation, mental confusion, inappropriate secretion of antidiuretic hormone, increased transaminases, seizure, (there were three cases worldwide, and most animal studies (and clinical trials that included epilepsy patients) indicated the presence of anticonvulsant properties, so was not completely contraindicated in epilepsy,) and increased libido.
Mechanism of action
Viloxazine, like imipramine, inhibited norepinephrine reuptake in the hearts of rats and mice; unlike imipramine, it did not block reuptake of norepinephrine in either the medullae or the hypothalami of rats. As for serotonin, while its reuptake inhibition was comparable to that of desipramine (i.e., very weak), viloxazine did potentiate serotonin-mediated brain functions in a manner similar to amitriptyline and imipramine, which are relatively potent inhibitors of serotonin reuptake. Unlike any of the other drugs tested, it did not exhibit any anticholinergic effects.
Viloxazine was discovered by scientists at Imperial Chemical Industries when they recognized that some beta blockers inhibited serotonin reuptake inhibitor activity in the brain at high doses. To improve the ability of their compounds to cross the blood brain barrier, they changed the ethanolamine side chain of beta blockers to a morpholine ring, leading to the synthesis of viloxazine.:610:9 The drug was first marketed in 1976. It was never approved by the FDA, but the FDA granted it an orphan designation (but not approval) for cataplexy and narcolepsy in 1984. It was withdrawn from markets worldwide in 2002 for business reasons.
Viloxazine has undergone two randomized controlled trials for nocturnal enuresis (bedwetting) in children, both of those times versus imipramine. By 1990, it was seen as a less cardiotoxic alternative to imipramine, and to be especially effective in heavy sleepers.
Viloxazine has also been studied for the treatment of alcoholism, with some success.
It is also under investigation as a treatment for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
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