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Krupitsky EM, Burakov AM, Romanova TN, Grinenko NI, Grinenko AY, Fletcher J, Petrakis IL, Krystal JH. 
“Attenuation of ketamine effects by nimodipine pretreatment in recovering ethanol dependent men: psychopharmacologic implications of the interaction of NMDA and L-type calcium channel antagonists”. 
Neuropsychopharmacology. 2001 Dec 25;25(6):936-47.
Ketamine blocks the calcium channel associated with N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) glutamate receptors. It has transient behavioral effects in healthy humans that resemble aspects of schizophrenia, dissociative disorders, and ethanol intoxication. Ethanol is an antagonist of both NMDA receptors and L-type voltage-sensitive calcium channels (VSCC) and it has minimal psychotogenic activity in humans. A double-blind placebo-controlled study was conducted that evaluated whether pretreatment with the L-type VSCC antagonist, nimodipine, 90 mg D, modulated ketamine response (bolus 0.26 mg/kg, infusion of 0.65 mg/kg/hr) in 26 ethanol-dependent inpatients who were sober for at least one month prior to testing. This study found that nimodipine reduced the capacity of ketamine to induce psychosis, negative symptoms, altered perception, dysphoria, verbal fluency impairment, and learning deficits. Nimodipine improved memory function, but had no other intrinsic behavioral activity in this patient group. Nimodipine pretreatment attenuated the perceived similarity of ketamine effects to ethanol as well as ketamine-induced euphoria and sedation. However, nimodipine did not reduce the stimulant effects of ketamine. These data suggest that antagonism of L-type VSCCs attenuates the behavioral effects of NMDA antagonists in humans. They support the continued evaluation of nimodipine in the treatment of neuropsychiatric disorders. They also suggest that drugs, such as ethanol, that combine NMDA and L-type VSCC antagonism may have enhanced tolerability without attenuation of their stimulant effects.
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