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Ricci, 2012 Repeated fluoxetine administration during adolescence stimulates aggressive behavior and alters serotonin and vasopressin neural development in hamsters.


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Behav Neurosci. 2012 Oct;126(5):640-53. doi: 10.1037/a0029761.

Repeated fluoxetine administration during adolescence stimulates aggressive behavior and alters serotonin and vasopressin neural development in hamsters.

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  • 1Program in Behavioral Neuroscience, Department of Psychology, Northeastern University, Boston, MA 02115, USA.

Abstract at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23025830




Fluoxetine is the only selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor registered for the treatment of major depressive disorder in pediatric populations, despite reports that it is disproportionately associated with an array of adverse side effects that include agitation, hostility, and overt acts of pathological aggression and violence in youth. This study examined the effects of repeated adolescent fluoxetine administration on offensive aggression and the development of the serotonin (5HT) and vasopressin (AVP) neural systems modulating this behavior using pubertal Syrian hamsters (Mesocricetus auratus) as an adolescent-animal model. Adolescent hamsters administered fluoxetine were tested for offensive aggression using the resident/intruder test, sacrificed the following day, and, using immunohistochemistry, examined for 5HT and AVP afferent innervation/development to areas of the brain implicated in aggression control. Repeated exposure to a low dose (0.3 mg/kg/day) of fluoxetine during adolescence increased nearly all measures of offensive aggression (i.e., upright offensive attacks, lateral attacks, flank/rump bites, pursuits, flank marks), whereas measures of social interest (i.e., olfactory investigation, contact time), comfort (i.e., grooming), and locomotion (i.e., contact time, cage climbing) remained constant. Fluoxetine exposure also increased 5HT and AVP afferent development to brain areas implicated in aggressive behavior, most notably the latero-anterior hypothalamus (LAH)-an area of convergence for developmental and neuroplastic changes correlated with offensive aggression in hamsters. These data indicate that repeated administration of clinically relevant doses of fluoxetine during adolescent development directly stimulates aggressive behavior and alters LAH 5HT and AVP development, yet only alterations in AVP afferent development within the LAH correlate with the fluoxetine-induced aggressive behavioral phenotype.


PsycINFO Database Record © 2012 APA, all rights reserved.


PMID: 23025830 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]



I did not include the "Comment in" section because I couldn't get it to format correctly.


Yes, I know humans are not hamsters, but the authors defend their findings quite vigorously as you will see if you visit the PubMed link and follow the comment at the bottom and the author's returning comment.


Take it with a grain of salt, animal study though it is, but I at least take it as one more nail in the coffin for the place of psychotropics in the use of people with actively developing minds.

April / 2016: Cipralex 10 mg, Mirtazapine 30 mg, Lyrica 600 mg, Diazepam 20 mg, Bystolic 5 mg

2018: Lots of polypharmacy which is undocumented here. Started and stopped several drugs and changed doses of existing ones

August / 2018: Back on track! Cipralex 15 mg, Mirtazapine 7.5 mg, Diazepam 15 mg

September 2018: Cipralex 15 mg -> 12.5 mg

October 2018: Cipralex 12.5 mg -> 10 mg, Mirtazapine 7.5 mg -> 3.75 mg -> Stopped, Diazepam 15 mg

November 2019: Cipralex 5 mg, Diazepam 10 mg

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Very interesting, thank you.

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