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Many prescription medications have been released in recent years as we continue to gain a better understanding of how chemicals interact with the brain and body chemistry. One example of those medications is thozalinone, which is the generic name for a psychotropic medication used to treat depression in Europe. Thozalinone is classified as a psychostimulant and continues to be researched for identification of efficacy along with potential side effects. Because there is still much to be learned about thozalinone, it is not yet approved in the United States.

What is Thozalinone and How Does It Work?

Thozalinone is primarily used to treat depression in Europe, but is being explored as a medication for weight loss. The side effects of thozalinone continue to be researched and long-term health impacts have yet to be explored as thozalinone has limited results from clinical trials.

Thozalinone appears to release two neurotransmitters in the brain: dopamine and norepinephrine. Both neurotransmitters directly aid in increasing mood levels, producing a feeling of high energy when released simultaneously.

Dopamine is very familiar to healthcare professionals, and it’s known that large amounts of dopamine in the brain can elevate the mood and physical energy. Meanwhile, norepinephrine also elevates the mood, but through physically stimulating the heart (i.e., raising the heart rate). Together, the release of dopamine and norepinephrine produces effects similar to amphetamine, which is found in Adderall and other medications.

Thozalinone was first developed as a prescription substance in the 1980s and its chemical code name is CL-398081 While a few clinical trials have occurred, most associated literature has yet to find its way to United States researchers. The chemical structure of Thozalinone was only recently shared online, and little information is public regarding how the molecule impacts the body or long-term side effects of use.

Since Thozalinone activates neurotransmitters affecting one’s mood and energy levels, the potential risk for addictive Thozalinone use is evidenced.

How is Thozalinone Different from Other Antidepressants?

Thozalinone is classified as an “excitant,” which is better known in the US as a stimulant. It’s been shown to have some similar pharmacologic actions to amphetamine and imipramine. However, Thozalinone is less toxic than amphetamine. Thozalinone also has a greater margin of safety, based on clinical studies in mice.

Studies show that, even when the dosage is increased, the stimulant action of Thozalinone does not produce tremors or convulsions. Interestingly, the anorexigenic effect—meaning loss of appetite—is stronger and lasts longer compared to amphetamine. For that reason, Thozalinone is being studied as a potential weight loss drug.

Studies have so far not concluded any evidence that the body becomes tolerant to Thozalinone. This means a person is less likely to take more Thozalinone in order to continue experiencing its effects overtime. With some other drugs, effects become less noticeable as the body grows tolerant to the dosage.

Lastly, Thozalinone has minimal effects on the cardiovascular system. However, longitudinal studies in humans are required to acquire a thorough understanding of the risks and dangers of Thozalinone. Until that is done, the risk of misuse or addiction to Thozalinone cannot be fully defined.

Novel Psychoactive Substances

Novel psychoactive substances and represents a growing issue throughout the United States and around the world. Clandestine labs, which are mostly found in China and Mexico, are known for producing intoxicating substances that can be sold legally around the world, including within the United States.

One way manufacturers avoid breaking American laws how these substances are created. Certain substances are illegalized in the United States based on their specific molecular structures. Novel psychoactive substances have found loopholes in these laws by making minor changes to these structures or by concocting entirely new substances. Since synthetic drugs are inexpensive to buy, they have become known for producing an intense, addictive, and cheap, “high,” for users.

Around 2012, the, “bath salts,” drug scare resulted from a synthetic drug that was like cocaine. At first, bath salts were legal to buy and sell, producing an intense and rapid high. However, along with the feelings of euphoria, users also soon discovered that extreme paranoia, psychosis, hallucinations, hyperthermia, and heart failure also accompanied usage. The intense psychosis led to many users being admitted to hospitals, with effects sometimes lasting hours.

Ultimately, synthetic stimulants are impossible to predict, especially with several chemical formulas and endless changes being made to those formulas to try to get around laws. This makes their effects often severe and dangerous, but users have no way of knowing whether a stimulant is harmful until it’s too late. The biggest misusers of novel psychoactive substances include adolescents, young adults, and people with a history of other substance misuse.

Because of the inconsistency in production, uncontrolled doses, and varying chemical structure, novel psychoactive substances are more likely to have deadly effects that a euphoric high. People who misuse these substances are more susceptible to long-term addiction, making them extremely dangerous.

Is Thozalinone Addictive?

Being a prescription medication, thozalinone is well understood by the medical researchers who have been studying it. It works similarly to other antidepressant medications, meaning that thozalinone binds to the brain’s receptors slowly. This slow binding process is essential in combating addiction, as it enables a gradual increase in dopamine as opposed to a sudden burst that can be addictive.

The slow binding is important for a gradual increase in mood, but also leads to a longer sensation that provides a sense of equilibrium with oneself as opposed to solely euphoria. In the United States, most prescription antidepressants take up to four weeks to become fully effective in order to prevent feelings of euphoria and avoid misuse. If misused, thozalinone’s ability to adjust dopamine still means that it can become addictive.

If taken in larger quantities or more often than prescribed, it is possible that thozalinone could have a stimulating effect similar to amphetamine or cocaine, leading to a burst of energy and improved mood. This opportunity for misuse will need further exploration to determine appropriateness for FDA approval.

Thozalinone Misuse Symptoms

Specific research into thozalinone misuse is yet to be conducted on a large scale, but most stimulant misuse shares similar symptoms. If you or a loved one were misusing thozalinone, you could expect to see/feel:

  • Stomach pain and/or loss of appetite, which can affect energy and behavior.
  • Mood changes along with anxiety and potential paranoia.
  • Rapid heart rate and increased blood pressure.
  • Increased amounts of physical energy.
  • Panic attacks and/or hallucinations.
  • Chest pain, dizziness, and a dry mouth.

Any individual who is struggling with stimulant/NPS misuse should seek help from a rehabilitation program to help them successfully detoxify through medical supervision. Failure to seek help could put one at risk of potentially life-threatening side effects if not addressed by medical professionals.

How Is Thozalinone Addiction Treated?

The likelihood for Thozalinone addiction is unknown, along with the intensity of withdrawal symptoms associated with detox; fortunately, we have a body of decades-long research into helping people overcome substance use disorders from similar drugs.

Broadly, most people see drug use as misuse, dependency, and addiction. These are three closely connected concepts that medical professionals describe using the term, “substance use disorder.” Through research, professionals recognize that misuse, dependency, and addiction are inseparable and occur simultaneously, which means they must be treated simultaneously.

By calling one of the many hotlines provided for individuals struggling with addictions, individuals can have the support they need to take the first step in their recovery journey. Through one phone call, an intake with an addiction specialist can be scheduled to provide support to the addicted individual as quickly as possible.

With a proven method of approaching substance use disorders and helping individuals work through them, a rehabilitative treatment center offers the best chance at lasting recovery. Too often, individuals try to detox on their own, only to find the symptoms too intense to overcome or to end up with adverse side effects that could land them in the hospital.

With a medically supervised detoxification from a trusted treatment center, individuals can build confidence in their ability to build a foundation for sobriety and can be empowered to achieve long-term recovery.

Learn More About Thozalinone

Being that thozalinone as a prescription medication has not yet made it to the United States, thozalinone misuse is not common. However, since we’re still learning how thozalinone works and whether it behaves more like modern, slow-releasing antidepressants or a fast-releasing stimulant, it’s important to watch for thozalinone usage and potential synthetic alternatives to the drug.

If you or someone you know is taking a stimulant or appears to be showing signs of misuse, dependency, or addiction, there are different options to get help. With the highly addictive effects of modern drugs and the intense withdrawal symptoms often associated with detoxifying, it can be a significant medical risk for an individual to detoxify themselves in an environment without medical supervision and support.

An evidence-based rehabilitation program is the best way to work through detoxification and help individuals reach their personal goals and potential. Are you interested in learning more about how we can help? Windward Way Recovery helps people every day through mental, physical, and behavioral interventions that enables lasting success for individuals. Contact us today to learn more.

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