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What Is an Antidopaminergic?

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  • Written By: Marlene Garcia
  • Edited By: Daniel Lindley
  • Last Modified Date: 23 November 2016
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Antidopaminergic drugs work on dopamine receptors in the brain to block release of this chemical. These medications might be used to treat motion sickness, nausea, vomiting, and psychosis. They commonly treat schizophrenia, dizziness associated with Meniere’s disease, and Tourette’s syndrome. In some instances, antidopaminergic medication might be suitable for children with behavioral disorders.

Dopamine is a chemical messenger akin to adrenaline released through neurotransmitters in the middle part of the brain. It regulates bodily movement and emotional reactions. Dopamine also controls how humans experience pain, pleasure, or excitement. Antidopaminergic drugs block dopamine from adhering to receptors when too much of the chemical causes mental or physical illness.

In schizophrenia, antidopaminergic medication might control psychosis marked by hallucinations and delusions. During a psychotic episode, patients cannot distinguish between reality and thoughts. One of several available drugs that regulate dopamine levels might reduce the amount of confusion and anxiety associated with this mental disorder.

Some doctors prescribe antidopaminergic medicine for children to address hyperactive behavior. These drugs might be used when other medication fails to control behavior that becomes aggressive or violent. By blocking excessive dopamine, the pediatric patient might gain control over excitement that leads to unwanted behavior.

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These drugs are commonly used to control nausea and might be administered to patients to prevent or stop vomiting linked to anesthesia used in surgery. Antidopaminergic medication might also ease upset stomach after chemotherapy treatment for cancer. Different forms of the drug might be prescribed to prevent motion sickness while traveling by car, air, or ship. Some antidopaminergic drugs might be available in patch form for long trips.

Patients diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease often cannot control muscle movement because dopamine receptors in the brain fail. These patients typically receive drugs to stimulate neurons to release dopamine. Antidopaminergic medicine accidentally administered before or after surgery to prevent vomiting might make Parkinson’s symptoms worse.

Side effects of these drugs include sleepiness, because blood pressure might fall. Dry mouth and trouble urinating are other common side effects. Some patients experience mood changes while taking these medications, marked by restlessness, nervousness, or increased anxiety that may result in insomnia. Diarrhea, heartburn, or constipation might also occur.

Drugs that block dopamine might interact with other medicine, including magnesium and aluminum in antacids. They should also not be used with drugs that depress the central nervous systems, such as muscle relaxers and narcotic drugs. Adverse reaction might occur if these medicines are combined with antihistamines or medication that affects blood vessels.

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anon948862
Post 4

Do these medications also cause joint pain and stiffness? If they do, is this something that needs attention?

discographer
Post 3

An antidopaminergic and a dopamine agonist is the same thing right?

If so, this is used for Parkinson's disease. My grandfather uses this medication.

It's also used by anxiety and depression, to counter the negative impact that anti-anxiety and anti-depressive medications have on sexual function and libido.

burcidi
Post 2

@turkay1-- Where have you heard that? I've personally never heard about this before. It doesn't seem likely though because anti-dopamine medications are prescribed for schizophrenia and obsessive-compulsive behavior can be present in this condition. Why would doctors give a treatment to make things worse?

I took an antidopaminergic some years ago. My doctor had given it to me off-label for depression symptoms. The only side effect I had from it was fatigue, but I only took it for several months.

candyquilt
Post 1

Is it true that antidopaminergic drugs lead to obsessive-compulsive disorders in the long term?

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