Preparation of antidepressants for use in preclinical research

Int J Neuropsychopharmacol. 2007 Dec;10(6):759-63. doi: 10.1017/S1461145706007474. Epub 2007 Jan 4.


Obtaining drugs for use in basic and preclinical research has become increasingly difficult and in many instances is dependent upon the company's interest in the proposed research. In this paper, we describe a simple procedure for extracting the antidepressants sertraline, paroxetine, fluoxetine, venlafaxine, citalopram, escitalopram, duloxetine and atomoxetine from their readily available pharmaceutical preparations. With the exception of citalopram, escitalopram and duloxetine in which the free base was the final product, the hydrochloride salt forms of these drugs were prepared. This procedure provides these antidepressants in gram quantities in recovered yields ranging from 53% to 100% at over 99% purity and is in principle applicable to other drugs as well.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Antidepressive Agents / chemistry*
  • Antidepressive Agents / isolation & purification
  • Antidepressive Agents / pharmacology
  • Chemistry, Pharmaceutical
  • Drug Evaluation, Preclinical / methods*
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
  • Solvents


  • Antidepressive Agents
  • Solvents