There are a large number of mental disorders and conditions caused by increased levels of a substance in the nervous system called dopamine, which, among many other functions, is responsible for regulating our emotions.

Sulpiride is an antipsychotic drug that regulates dopamine levels in these cases. Throughout this article we will talk about the diseases in which it is used, the side effects and possible precautions to be taken by those who consume it.

What is sulpiride?

Sulpiride is an antipsychotic or neuroleptic drug, popularly known as Dogmatil . This antipsychotic falls into the category of specific dopamine receptor antagonists, exerting a specific effect on the D2 and D3 receptors.

Since it is an antidopaminergic drug, its role is to act on the dopamine receptors in the brain, preventing the release of this neurotransmitter. The functions of dopamine are to regulate emotional responses, as well as to mediate body movements.

In addition, dopamine is responsible for regulating the experience of sensations such as pleasure, pain or excitement.

Pathologically high levels of dopamine are associated with mental illnesses such as psychosis and schizophrenia . For this reason, a large amount of current antipsychotic medication is designed to block the effects of dopamine.

What conditions is this drug used for?

In adults, sulpiride has been shown to be highly effective in numerous psychological disorders and conditions, giving remarkable improvements in conditions such as neuroses and depressive disorders, as well as psychosomatic syndromes, senile dementia, vertigo, manias, schizophrenia or in diseases whose symptoms include delusions and paranoia.

On the other hand, it is also administered to children with severe behavioural problems.

1. Neurosis

By neurosis we understand all those diseases or mental conditions linked to hallucinations and delusions that are distinguished by presenting a series of nervous and emotional alterations without any physical injury or organic damage that justifies them.

2. Depressive disorders

Despite the fact that there is a great variability in the symptoms of depressive disorders, there are a series of manifestations that are practically common to all of them.

These symptoms include feelings of regret or sadness, irritability, crying and anhedonia . The latter consists of the inability to feel pleasure or enjoy activities that were previously satisfactory. In addition, in most cases sleeping and eating patterns are also altered.

3. Psychosomatic syndromes

Broadly speaking, syndromes or disorders of a psychosomatic nature are conditions in which the person presents a series of physical symptoms that cannot be justified by any organic disease; rather, they are due to a series of psychological ailments and discomforts.

4. Senile dementia

Senile dementia is a disease or degenerative syndrome in which the person gradually loses most of his or her cognitive abilities , especially at the cognitive level.

5. Dizziness

Vertigo is a condition caused by damage or injury to the area of the inner ear called the vestibular labyrinth, which is responsible for controlling our balance, or abnormal functioning of sensory information coming from this area.

The sensation of vertigo is a subjective impression in which the person perceives movements in the objects and the context that surrounds him . This perception is very similar to the feeling that “everything is spinning”.

6. Mania

Mania or manic episodes are included in mood disorders. It is distinguished by the fact that it causes an alteration of the mood by which it presents an increase and intensification of some thoughts and emotions associated with frenzy .

Generally, these people present great excitability, alteration, euphoria, constant agitation and loss of inhibition, among many other symptoms.

7. Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a serious mental illness that encompasses a series of diagnoses that are characterized by alterations in perception, a lack of adjustment to reality and a neuropsychological disorganization that affects numerous executive functions.

How is it administered?

Sulpiride is sold in tablet form for oral intake. Although the dose may vary according to the patient’s illness and the severity of it , there are a series of guidelines on the dose of this drug. However, doctors’ instructions should be followed carefully.

In the administration in adults, the recommended dose of sulpiride is between 3 and 6 capsules per day. These should be divided into three doses throughout the day and, if possible, before meals.

However, the practitioner shall adjust the dose to the specific needs of the patient, who may not under any circumstances modify it. This means that you cannot increase or decrease the dose , nor can you take it more often than indicated by the doctor. Otherwise, the patient may suffer numerous health consequences such as withdrawal.

In cases where the patient feels that the medication is not working, or perceives unwanted side effects, he should not stop taking sulpiride on his own or immediately. It is recommended that you contact your doctor to adjust the dose or, if necessary, to stop the treatment gradually.

What side effects does it have?

Although not all patients experience them, sulpiride also has a number of side effects that can be classified according to the areas it affects, as well as the probability of occurrence.

General alterations

  • Neuroleptic malignant syndrome.
  • Weight gain .
  • Skin alterations such as rashes or spots

Heart conditions

  • Decrease in blood pressure upon rising or setting foot.
  • Rarely, heart conduction problems or Torsade de pointes condition appear.
  • .

Hormonal disorders

  • Increased prolactin levels.

Reproductive system disorders

These conditions are closely related to increased prolactin levels . They include the following.

  • Amenorrhea .
  • Abnormal milk secretion.
  • Increased breast size in both women and men
  • Chest pain.
  • Alterations in sexual performance .
  • Anorgasmia.

Nervous system conditions

  • Sleepiness.
  • Extrapyramidal symptoms associated with Parkinsonism.
  • Slowing down of movements and muscle tone
  • Inability to sit still.
  • Dyskinesia .
  • Seizures are very rare.

What precautions should be taken with its consumption?

As with all drugs, both antipsychotic and any other category, the patient should inform his/her doctor of any illness, allergy or special health condition, before starting treatment with sulpiride.

In addition, should also communicate any treatment with other medications , vitamin supplements or natural compounds. The reason is that there may be interference between these, as well as a decrease in their effectiveness.

Due to the sedative effects of sulpiride, the consumption of alcohol throughout the treatment is totally contraindicated. As well as those who perform activities such as driving or operating heavy machinery, they should also take special precautions.

Finally, sulpiride administration is not recommended during pregnancy or breastfeeding, since it can cause harm to both the fetus and the newborn.