Fight depressions and Corona at the same time? | Fluoxetine | Prozac

Sample preparation and subsequent HPLC analysis of fluoxetine and other antidepressant drugs

In the fight against COVID-19 pandemic, drugs already approved for treatment are also being tested for potential efficacy. In doing so, drugs from the related therapeutic application spectrum; i.e. viral infectious diseases; are not the only types being investigated. A research team from the Westphalian Wilhelms University of Muenster (North Rhine-Westphalia/Germany) found out that the active substance "Fluoxetine" of the antidepressant "Prozac"(1), a selective serotonin uptake inhibitor (“SSRI”), which has been approved since 1988, also inhibits the uptake of SARS-CoV-2 viruses as well as their further spread in in-vitro experiments.(2)
Fluoxetine is a chiral drug with one stereo center. The effective isomer is the (S)-enantiomer. However in therapy the racemate (1:1 mixture of the (S)- and the (R)-isomer), is applied.

Access to application: Simultaneous determination of fluoxetine and four other antidepressant drugs of the SSRI class in plasma by HPLC/MS method.

Fluoxetine = (RS)-N-methyl(-3-phenyl-3-(4-trifluoromethylphenoxy)-propylamine

Structure - R- and S-isomer of Fluoxetine


Further examples of drug analysis related to COVID-19


(1) Eli Lilly. Approval in USA 1987
(2) Schloer S, Brunotte L, Goretzko J, Mecate-Zambrano A, Korthals N, Gerke V, Ludwig S, Rescher U. Targeting the endolysosomal host-SARS-CoV-2 interface by clinically licensed functional inhibitors of acid sphingomyelinase (FIASMA) including the antidepressant fluoxetine. Emerg Microbes Infect. 2020 Dec;9(1):2245-2255. doi: 10.1080/22221751.2020.1829082. PMID: 32975484.


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