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What Is Melitracen?

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  • Written By: Andy Josiah
  • Edited By: Nancy Fann-Im
  • Last Modified Date: 29 October 2016
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Melitracen is a prescription drug that is marketed in Europe and Japan for treating depression and anxiety, which means it works as an antidepressant and anxiolytic. It is manufactured and marketed by two research-based pharmaceutical companies: H. Lundbeck A/S and Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited, which are based in Denmark and Japan, respectively. Melitracen is also known as Melixeran, Thymeol, Adaptol, Adepril, Trausabun, Dixeran or Thymeol.

The melitracen drug is classified as a tricyclic antidepressant (TCA). It is a chemical compound consisting of three rings of atoms, with at least two of them being different elements. TCAs emerged in the 1950s, when physicians noticed the psychiatric effects of chlorpromazine, leading to an explosion of derivative forms of the drug.

Physicians generally use melitracen to treat clinical depression. This condition is characterized by extremely low moods and a general disinterest in everyday activities. It is sometimes referred to as unipolar disorder to set it apart from bipolar disorder, which comprises both high and low moods. Melitracen is used to treat bipolar disorder as well. People who suffer from anxiety attacks; depression resulting from alcoholism, menopause or drug addiction; or even general apathy can also benefit from the drug.

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Currently, it is not known how exactly melitracen works. Some medical researchers have suggested that it can be considered a non-selective monoamine reuptake inhibitor. This means that it suppresses the reuptake, or reabsorption, of monoamine, which is a neurotransmitter that contains one amine group. This consequently leads to the increase of monoamimes, such as dopamine and serotonin, the latter notable for being a "feel-good" agent. Others have suggested that it has the same pharmacology as other TCAs such as amitriptyline or imipramine.

Melitracen is also available as a combination with flupentixol and branded as Deanxit. Flupentixol, also known as Depixol, Fluanxol or Flupenthixol, belongs to the antipsychotic class of drugs, which are primarily used to treat schizophrenia. These medications are similar to TCAs in that they first appeared in the 1950s.

The recommended dosage for adults is a 10-milligram tablet in the morning and the afternoon. Older patients are restricted to a single oral administration in the morning. In both cases, the patient should not take more than four tablets a day. Side effects of melitracen may include constipation, drowsiness, dry mouth, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting. People with conditions such as Parkinson's disease, epilepsy, or glaucoma and women who are pregnant or lactating are generally discouraged from taking melitracen.

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